Chains of Nature

Connecting Nature

Flanders is a highly populated region. Large areas are covered with concrete. The small amount of nature that is left, is sadly enough exiled to protected areas, like small isles in a sea of residential areas, intensive agriculture, roads, and industry.

For many plant and animal species, these protected areas are too small for long time survivability. And it is not always possible to enlarge the natural areas. But we try to connect these natural areas. Green corridors and stepping stones enable special and rare species to migrate between the different areas.

 

Chains of Nature

The project “Chains of Nature” tries to connect several natural areas in the ‘Maasvallei’ and the ‘Hoge Kempen’. Within its aim, brooks and their banks are restored, and small landscaping elements are created and intensified. It is not a coincidence that these corridors also happen to be very interesting for cyclists and hikers.

Many actions taken to increase the biodiversity, also aim to improve the general landscape. We look at the landscape in all its aspects, with both the cultural and the natural heritage.

On the terrain itself, most initiatives are established through the voluntary cooperation of the landowners and people using the area. As much as possible, the existing accommodations are used: the landscaping team, agreements on management, and much more.

The Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland as an organisation has, for a long time already, the reputation to use durable materials, that have little effect on the environment. When possible, they always choose local plants when planting hedges or wood edges. The plants they use are a product of the project “Local plant life”, also managed by the Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland.

 

Habitat Europe

 

The project “Chains of Nature” is a part of the European project “Habitat”. Together with 12 partners in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, we try to create green corridors in between the larger natural areas in the European region Meuse Rhine. We try to improve the ecological network and to establish a durable transnational cooperation between the different partners.

Hettie Meertens (Stichting Ark) tries to explain the aims of the project in this video.


More information:

Marleen Massonnet T +32 (0)89 32 28 15 or marleen@rlkm.be

 

Partners:

The project “Chains of Nature” receives financial aid from:

·         Europe: Interreg IV-A European region Meuse-Rhine

·         Province Limburg

·         ‘Limburgs Sterk Merk’

Partners of the project are:

·         Province Limburg

·         Five municipalities of the Meuse-region

·         Natural organisations responsible for maintenance projects

·         Local organisations (the church council, the local brass band, historical societies)

·         13 (international) partners in the Interreg project “Habitat”, the “Chains of Nature” project is a part of this project.

·         Stakeholders: the local agriculture and landowners

In addition to these partners, there are a few less involved partners (advisors, supervisors and support):

Departments of the Flemish Government like the Agency for Nature and Forestry, Cultural Heritage, Urban Planning, Durable Agriculture, ‘NV De Scheepvaart’, the Institute for Research in Nature and Forestry, the Natural Centre of the Province, Tourism Flanders, Tourism Limburg, and more.