Saturday, September 24, 2016

National Park Hoge Kempen, Belgium

Sept 19-23, 2016, Belgium

During the Ecosystem Services Conference in Atwerp we had a great field trip to a unique protected area. Guided by Johan Van Den Bosch, the park's project leader, we learned so much about the new protected area, its history and challanges.
I share some snapshots here. 

The Hoge Kempen National Park is a unique nature area, covering more than 5700 ha of woodlands and heathland, all protected and managed by the Flemish Government’s Agency for Nature and Forestry. It is a “natural success story”: the former mine-lands have been turned in to a protected area - the nation's largest. Huge coal mine slag heeps have become lovely grassland hills full of wildlflowers and butterflies. The National Park officially kicked off on March 23rd, 2006. In the meantime, 6 gateways have been developed as starting areas for a visit to this enchanting area. Not-for-profit organizations and government work together  to develop durable, nature orientated tourism in and around this natural area. The balance between NATURE – PEOPLE – TOURISM should help conservation, restoration, regeneration of biodiversity. What we saw was a re-wilding in the making - it looked great!

We saw this common beauty but I could not take  a photo. This is form:

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