Little gems of nature in a densely populated country.
Belgium is centered in the middle of Europe and is a densely populated area. Especially in Flanders it's a struggle between city's, suburbs, stretching villages, intense agriculture and nature for the limited space we have. Agricultural area's and especially nature are losing the battle with a speed of 6 hectares a day going to buildings and roads.
One of the organizations who fight the battle for nature, the side without a voice and vote is natuurpunt ('nature point' translated). This organization will only ring a bell for Belgian people so this is their mission in short:
"With over 100.000 members and 6.000 volunteers, Natuurpunt is the largest Belgian nature conservation organization. The long term protection of important habitats, species and landscapes is the main goal." See their site for more info.
We discovered 1 of their projects called 'Zeveren Planke' just a couple minutes of our home by accident when doing a bike ride in the neighborhood on a nice spring evening and it made our day.
It's an area crammed between houses with meadows, a small stream, tree's and hedges made accessible by a trail on planks.
Natuurpunt build a bird watching house hidden in an old stable.
When leaving the bird watching house I noticed a small hidden box. We accidentally stumbled upon a geocache hold. We gone check out the game because it seems like a great way to discover new places like this one.
I'm not a member of natuurpunt but I'm considering joining because I start to realize more and more that we will lose a lot of nature and green if we keep on building. Maybe natuurpunt can save some vulnerable pieces before we do irreversible damage and everyone including our politicians start to realize we have to change our behavior.