Location

The current climate buffer is situated in the triangle between ‘Weert (Nl), Bocholt (B) and Kinrooi (B)’. For Belgium, the project ‘Smeetshof’ is included in the climate buffer, for the Netherlands it contains the nature areas ‘Kettingdijk’ and ‘Wijfelterbroek’, owned by the organisation ‘Natuurmonumenten’.

Currently it consists of (swamp) forest, hay land and leased farmland. Open water and marshes are very rare. The reason for this is the presence of drainage-canals like ‘Lossing’ and ‘Raam’. There were created to drain the original transgressing swamp in favour of forests and agriculture.

The climate buffer project ‘Kempen~Broek’ wants to restore the swamp where possible, connect the separate natural areas and contain valuable water. By detaining clean infiltration water and rainwater, the natural riches can prosper. Grazing by horses, cattle, and deer creates diversified, natural forest edges, where woodland gradually changes into grassland via bushes and brushwood.

In the ‘Stramprooierbroek’, the first results are visible. The forest edges are home to a large variety of insects, birds and small mammals. Species that benefit largely from the restoration of the landscape are the Chequered Skipper, the Purple Emperor, the Water Shrew, the European Bitterling, the Floating Water-plantain, the Common Spadefoot, the Golden Oriole, the European Honey Buzzard, several species of Dianthus, and some rare fritillaries.