Location

Ampus, 600 metres above sea level and 14 kilometres north of Draguignan is beautifully situated, with the nearby valley of the Nartuby, the gorges at Chateaudouble and a little further north, the "Sainte- Croix" lake and the gorges of the river Verdon.


Topography

Out of the 8277 hectares of the commune two thirds are
- Mountains of which some exceed 1000 metres, and passes largely located in the military camp at Canjuers, and which are mainly forested or
- Steep terrain dropping to the gorges of the river  Nartuby, wooded and cultivated with olive groves.
The remaining third is cultivated plateau between 600 and 700 metres above sea level.


 

Forest covers three quarters of the area.  It is made up of white and holm oaks and Aleppo pines with some maritime pines which have survived insect attack.The white oak forests are a source of delicious black truffles.  In some ways the forest causes more concern than benefit.  A forest fire at Tourtour (a neighbouring commune) in 1982 destroyed 1500 hectares of forest.


Geology, flora and fauna

There are a number of geological feature which are worth a visit, notably the Gorges of the river Nartuby and the Roche Aiguille.

There are four designated ecological sites at Ampus (Zones Naturelles Ecologiques Faunistiques et Floristiques – ZNIEFF),  including the gorges at Chateaudouble and the Prannes wood.  This lovely area boasts a number of interesting rocky habitats: for example crag martins and house martins are breeding, there is a pair of golden eagles, crows and eagle owls and there are black woodpeckers in the Prannes wood.

Also worth noting, are the protected lime trees at "Moulin Vieux" and the holm oak at Claux whose circumferences exceed 4.5 metres.


Population

On 8th March 1999 the population of the commune was 707 (341 males and 366 females).  The population is rising compared with the previous census.  In the preceding nine years the commune grew by 85 people.

In the 24 years between 1975 and 1999 the commune grew by 268 inhabitants. There are 603 houses in the commune of which 300 are main residences and are 252 second homes. 45% of the inhabitants are active of which 60% work outside the commune.

In 1999 the unemployment rate in the commune was 16.8% as against 18.2% in the Département as a whole.
 


Administration

Ampus  belongs to the canton and arrondissement of which Draguignan is the sub-Prefecture.  In January 2002 the commune said “yes” to intercommunality and rejoined the Community of the conurbation of Draguignan ("Communauté de l’Agglomeration Draçenoise", 16 communes)" which since then has been managing refuse collection, the library and the multisports area.