LIFE + Nature project FLANDRE (English)

LIFE + Nature project FLANDRE (English)

Flemish And North French Dunes Restoration is a joint nature restoration project of the Agency for nature and forests of the Flemish Government, the Conservatoire de l’Espace Littoral et des Rivages lacustres and the Département du Nord for the coastal dunes between Dunkerque (France) and Westende (Belgium), that is co-financed by the European Union.

  • Read the flyer with more information (pdf - 900 KB)

During the summer of 2019, the Agency for Nature and Forests organizes a guided walk through a nature reserve that was purchased relatively recently by the Flemish Region and that is currently not (yet) open to the public.

Saturday 20 July: the Oostvoorduinen-Oost in Oostduinkerke

  • Start: at 2:00 PM. along the Karthuizerstraat at the parking lot of the holiday village "Sun Parcs" which is closest to the Nieuwpoortsesteenweg.

Photo:  flowering dune grassland in the ‘Oostvoorduinen’ in Oostduinkerke (copyright: Marc Leten)

Within the framework of the LIFE+ Nature Project FLANDRE, more than 15 hectares of the 60 hectare of the superficies of the nature site 'Oostvoorduinen' were purchased, a management plan was developed for the whole area and during the winter 2016-2017 nature restoration works were carried out here over a surface area of 2 ha. These nature restoration works consisted of digging an area that been leveled to arable fields in the 19th century back into humid dune slacks containing pools and the removal of poplars that caused shading and leaf fall that had undesirable effects on the dune vegetations. The 'Oostvoorduinen' are part of a low undulating dune belt that was formed during the early Middle Ages along the southwestern bank of the former IJzer estuary. During the walk, attention will be paid to the richly flowering dune grasslands, the results of the nature management that has already been carried out by mowing and grazing by cattle, as well as to the management measures for the future that are foreseen in the management plan that has recently been approved.

Visit the exhibition of LIFE+ FLANDRE from Monday the 17th of June to Wednesday 31st of July 2019 in the “Fort des Dunes” (dating from the 19th Century and place of memory of the second world war), Chemin du Fort, at Leffrinckoucke.

  • Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday (included) from 10:30 AM to 06:00 PM

Successful European Natura 2000 & Life day 2019 in Adinkerke-Ghyvelde!

Photo Reinhardt Strubbe: the group of participants at the departure of the guided walk from the Café Perroquet 23.

Some 45 enthusiastic Belgian and French participants took part in the cross-border visit to the "fossil dunes" of Adinkerke and Ghyvelde that was organised by the LIFE+ FLANDRE partnership on 21 May 2019 as contribution to the European Natura 2000 & Life Day. During the excursion among others blossoming Early Marsh orchid, calling Natterjack toads, Partridge, Lapwing, Stonechat (LIFE+ FLANDRE mascot!), Meadow pipit, Nightingale, Marsh harrier, Long-eared Owl, Red Wood Ant and Nathusius’ Pipistrelle were observed !

Photo Reinhardt Strubbe: The column of participants walking from the Dune fossile de Ghyvelde (France) to the Domain Cabour in Adinkerke (Belgium).

International workshop “coastal dunes and sandy beaches – Dunkirk 2018”
On 12, 13 and 14 June 2018, 143 dune experts from 13 European countries gathered at the premises of the Université du Littoral - Côte d'Opale (ULCO, Dunkirk, France) to examine the measures needed to protect and restore biodiversity and the natural processes of coastal dunes and sandy beaches. This workshop was organised by the three partners of the LIFE+ Nature “FLANDRE” project in collaboration with the ULCO - Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Géosciences. You will find the book of abstracts, the excursions guide, the report of the sessions and excursions, all the presentations and finally the press release with the conclusions of the workshop through the following link:

Workshop-excursion 1: Bénédicte Lemaire (Département du Nord) provides explanations about a recent clearing of scrub in the “Dune du Perroquet”, 13 June 2018

The advisory committee met for the fifth time and visited the works in progress in the “Houtsaegerduinen” (Belgium) and the completed works in “Dune du Perroquet” (France)
In November 2013 46 (27 French and 19 Belgian) representatives of concerned public authorities, scientific institutes, and non-governmental conservation organisations were invited to join the advisory committee of the LIFE+12 Nature project ‘FLANDRE’. 44 (27 French and 17 Belgian) persons accepted to join the committee. The first meeting of that advisory committee took place on the 7th May 2014 at Zuydcoote (France), the second on the 11th December 2015 at Koksijde (Belgium), the third on the 9th November 2016 as well as the fourth on the 13th of December 2017 at Zuydcoote again, and the fifth on 12th December 2018 at De Panne (Belgium). During this fifth meeting of the advisory committee the attention of the 27 present members was directed towards the state of progress of all the actions of the project-program. Contract holders of the study "Masterplan" (action A1&2) Eric Cosyns (Wvi), Sam Provoost (INBO) and Bart Bollengier (CPIE) also gave a presentation about their proposal for an action plan, which needs to be further discussed with the three partners of the LIFE+ project FLANDRE. Finally, the contributions of the 3 LIFE+ FLANDRE partners to the INTERREG V project VEDETTE were explained. In the afternoon the advisory committee paid a visit to the nearly completed works of removal of scrub to restore a humid dune slack and the removal of invasive alien plants in the nature reserve “Houtsaegerduinen” at De Panne (“Outside LIFE”) and to the grazing blocks installed in 2018 in the “Dune du Perroquet” at Bray-Dunes (actions C.2 and C.3). The differences between the techniques used for clearing scrub on both sides of the border were discussed.

Visit to humid dune slack restoration in the "Houtsaegerduinen" (Outside LIFE)

Visit to the grazing areas installed in 2018 in the "Dune du Perroquet" (actions C.2 and C.3): Haflinger ponies and goats (buck on the photo)

With support of the financial instrument LIFE+ of the European Community
LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of the EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value. Since 1992 LIFE has co-financed some 4.171 projects, contributing approximately 3.4 billion euros to the protection of the environment and climate.