Nature and landscape
The ‘GrensPark Kempen~Broek’ covers over 25.000 ha and stretches across the municipalities ‘Bree (B), Maaseik (B), Kinrooi (B), Bocholt (B), Cranendonck (Nl), Nederweert (Nl), and Weert (Nl).
‘Kempen~Broek’ is situated at the north-east side of the ‘Kempens Plateau’. Because several creeks merge in this valley, a humid marsh originated. On higher grounds, continental dunes tower over this marshland. The result is a diversified landscape with thousands of hectares of woodland, heathland, creek valleys, marshes and agricultural areas.
Many rare plants and animal species call this region their home.
The central area of ‘Kempen~Broek’ was a natural, inaccessible swamp. When humans settled into the area, the swamp got drained. What was left, were some creek valleys with a marshy underground.
A few patches of the swamp still remained though: the ‘Stramprooierbroek’ and the ‘Wijffelterbroek’ are good examples hereof. Where possible, nature conservationists are trying to restore the humid nature of the area. Some results can already be seen in the ‘Smeetshof’.
The ‘Abeek’, the ‘Tungelroyse beek’, the ‘Itterbeek’ or the ‘Bosbeek’ are only a few of the creeks that run through ‘Kempen~Broek’. Often their course is influenced and changed when a marsh is drained or a watermill is constructed. The ‘Lossing’ is an example of a drainage-canal, created specifically to drain the swamp.
Dry, drier, driest
In the north side of the ‘GrensPark’ we find the driest areas. These are the drift-sands of the ‘Weerterbergen’, the ‘Budelerbergen’ and the ‘Boshovenheide’.
In the more humid centre you can find continental dunes, for example in the ‘Stramprooierheide’ and the ‘Kreielerbos’