Outside LIFE

Outside LIFE

The Agency of Nature and Forests executed within the Belgian part of the project area of LIFE+ FLANDRE several actions that are not co-financed by LIFE but that are complementary to the project and add to its impact.

A. At De Panne, in the Flemish Nature Reserve ‘Duinen en Bossen van De Panne’, partim ‘De Westhoek’, adjacent to the Belgian-French border: Removal over a superficies of 1,25 ha of white poplars to restore the targeted habitat ‘2130* Grey dunes’. The works also included the establishment of a grazing unit by the placing of a fence over a circumferential length of 1,2 km, the digging out of a pond (aquatic biotope of targeted species Great Crested Newt) and the removal of several small constructions. Executed from the 19th February until the 23 October 2015 Cost:65.496,53 Euro.


Photo: removal of White poplars in the ‘Westhoek’
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B. At De Panne-Adinkerke, in the Flemish Nature Reserve ‘Duinen en Bossen van De Panne’, partim ‘Garzebekeveld’. Removal of willows and poplars over a superficies of  about 1,7 ha, cutting off sods over a superficies of 0,3 ha, removal of sludge from a pool with a superficies of 0,23 ha, digging out of new pools, and placement of a fence with a circumference of 2,3 km to restore the targeted habitats ‘2130* Grey dunes’ and ‘2190 Humid dune slack’ and to provide aquatic habitat to Great Crested Newt. Executed from the 23rd February until the 23 October 2015 Cost:  82.628,90 Euro.


Photo: Garzebekeveld: terrain where sods were cut from and newly placed fence
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C. At Koksijde: in the Flemish Nature Reserve ‘Noordduinen’, partim ‘Fluithoek’: Excavation of topsoil to a depth of 30 cm over a superficies of  0,9 ha to restore the targeted habitat ‘2190 Humid dune slack’. The works included also the digging out of a large pool as aquatic habitat of Natterjack Toad. Executed from the 5th of October 2015 until the 16th of October 2015 Cost:  37.000,00 Euro.


Photo: excavation of the topsoil at the ‘Fluithoek’
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D. At Koksijde (Oostduinkerke), in the Flemish Nature Reserve ‘Ter Yde’: Sieving of the sand of the dunes to remove stone rubble and Dewberry (Rubus caesius) from it to restore sand drift dynamics and the targeted habitat ‘2120 White dunes’ over a superficies of 3,8 ha. Executed from the 10th August 2015 until the 21st August 2015. Cost: 26.383,11 Euro.


Photo: restauration of white dunes in ‘Ter Yde’
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E. At De Panne, in the Flemish Nature Reserve ‘Duinen en Bossen van De Panne’, partim ‘De Westhoek’, adjacent to the Belgian-French border: Removal of scrub and of the topsoil layer to restore over a superficies of 1,6 ha the targeted habitat ‘2190 Humid dune-slack’. Two pools were excavated to offer aquatic habitat to Natterjack toad and Great Crested Newt. The works were executed from the 22nd of August to the 30th of November 2016. Cost: 49.501,10 Euro.


Photo: ‘De Westhoek’: restauration of an ancient humid dune slack by removal of scrub followed by cutting off sods.
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F. The ANB acquired by purchase act of 18 December 2015 a stretch of dune ground at De Panne adjacent to the Flemish Nature Reserve ‘De Houtsaegerduinen’. The purchased site, with a superficies of 1 ha 39 a 34 ca, consists of a series of small sandy former arable fields, dating from the 19th century and abandoned several decades ago and used by the former private owners for a long time as a horse meadow. The former  arable field parcels are separated from each other by wooded banks, planted with Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and include the ruins of a former fisherman’s house. Because only a limited  portion of the site is included within the delimitations of the Natura 2000 network, this land purchase is not eligible for LIFE co-funding. However the ANB intends to restore and maintain the historical wooded banks and hedgerows and to develop flower- and insect-rich grasslands on the former sandy arable fields. The wooded parts of the site also offer terrestrial biotope to the target species Great crested Newt (Triturus cristatus, code 1166) of which reproduction  is regularly observed in the pools of the adjacent Flemish Nature Reserve ‘De Houtsaegerduinen’. Also fruit trees will be planted in the direct neighbourhood of the ruins of the fisherman’s house to improve the quality of the environment for the Garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) of which a population is still present in the LIFE+ FLANDRE project area.

The Garden dormouse population in the whole of Flanders is declining. For that reason the ANB is working at improving the conditions for the Garden dormouse by planting fruit trees and placing special nesting boxes in sites that are suitable for this species, often former isolated habitations and ruins nearby woodland, such as is the case on a couple of places in the Oostvoorduinen-east.