De Grevelingen Nature and Recreation Board (Natuur- en Recreatieschap de Grevelingen) was established on 1 March 1986 with the aim of "representing the interests of nature, landscape and outdoor recreation in the Grevelingen". The Board is a collaborative partnership in the context of the Wet Gemeenschappelijke Regelingen (Joint Arrangements Act). Taking part in this are: the provinces of Zeeland and South Holland and the municipalities of Schouwen-Duiveland and Goeree-Overflakkee.
By implementing the Delta plan, Lake Grevelingen effectively became closed off from the North Sea.
Lake Grevelingen is one of the cleanest and most beautiful salt-water lakes in Europe. Damming the area brought safety, exceptionally beautiful nature and a pleasant area for recreation. Lake Grevelingen has a total surface area of 11,000 hectares of water with around 4,000 hectares that are less than 1.5 metres deep. In addition to this, about 3,000 hectares of land has been permanently reclaimed through the absence of the tidal flow. This land has become predominantly a nature area. About 300 hectares of land, mainly along the two dams, has been developed as a recreation area.
More information: www.grevelingen.nl
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife. It tackles problems threatening the environment and is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in Europe, with over one million members. Wildlife and the environment face many threats; conservation work is focused on the species and habitats that are in the greatest danger.
The RSPB’s work is driven by the passionate belief that:
• Birds and wildlife enrich people's lives
• The health of bird populations is indicative of the health of the planet, on which the future of the human race depends
• Everyone has a responsibility to protect wildlife
Minsmere is the RSPB’s flagship site. Located on the Suffolk coast, Minsmere offers families and birdwatchers a great day out. Nature trails take you through a variety of habitats to find the star wildlife species such as avocets, bearded tits, konik ponies, bitterns, otters, silver studded blue butterflies, marsh harriers and nightingales. Events are held all year, with family explorer backpacks and trail booklets available.
More Information: www.rspb.org.uk
The most important task of the provincial government is to develop and promote the strengths of the region. This ambition is two-fold: to provide administration to the whole province and in addition to act as a partner with knowledge and experience to help our region move forward.
The Zwin nature park consists of a line of dunes behind which lies an area of tidal waters. The area serves as an important resting and foraging location for thousands of migratory birds during their journey between their northern nesting grounds and their southern winter habitats.
The mission of the Zwin Nature Reserve Visitors Centre is to offer the general public and various interested parties an ecotourism attraction with an educational character, and which functions as a tourist reception area for visitors to the Zwin region. Of importance to the project's mission is the realisation of an exemplary level of sustainability in all aspects of the reserve, out of respect for the area's unique and highly protected natural resources and as an example to the community.
More information: www.zwin.be
For over 75 years the Flemish Land Agency or VLM has been committed to the quality of the environment in rural areas and the peri-urban open space in Flanders. We invest in the open space, focusing on the needs of each area and always in consultation with our partners. In doing so we integrate the interests of all the local actors in the countryside. Our trademark is a broad based approach. Because our whole society benefits from a vibrant countryside where it is good to live, to work and to relax.
With a wide-range of tools we put total solutions into practice to improve the quality of the environment in Flanders. We work on a better water quality by encouraging sustainable manuring. We conclude management agreements with farmers who voluntarily care for nature, the environment and the landscape and in doing so work for a better quality of the environment. We conduct customised development projects in the countryside and in peri-urban spaces and we are the engine of rural policy in Flanders.
More information: www.vlm.be
The Biesbosch is a fresh water tidal area, mysterious and adventurous, a rough and undisturbed wildernis. Endless views over reed bushes alternate with tidal willow woods, only accessible in a canoe. In the vast wetlands thousands of birds feed and rest. Boating through the area you will pass beaver lodges and fallen trees: beavers like it here! For centuries the Biesbosch landscape was shaped by humans, by harvesting rush, reed and willow.
Hear the water ripple, the reed murmur and the birds sing! Electric boattrips and excursions can be made from several places in the Biesbosch. You can also hire an electric boat. Boat owners will find plenty of quiet spots to moor. There are many opportunities to discover the area by foot or bike. In a few years time hundreds of hectares of nature will be developed, with many possibilities for sustainable recreation.
Experiencing accessible high quality nature for everyone. This is the aim for 2021, exactly 600 years after a huge flood started to shape the Biesbosch. In achieving this target, two provinces, four municipalities, two waterboards, three ministeries, State Forest Management, many private companies, volunteers and other stakeholders work together to make the Biesbosch more sustainable.
More information: www.np-debiesbosch.nl
Border park De Zoom – Kalmthoutse Heide is a cross-border nature reserve with many pools, heath land, inland dunes and vast forests. It is an area with rare natural values and an important scenic, cultural and historic meaning. The area is cut into two by the Belgian-Dutch border and is owned by a variety of bodies and parties. Along the areas belonging to the Dutch and Flemish authorities, one can find large private estates, small scale agricultural areas and small forest properties scattered all over the region.
The nearly 6000 hectares are a valuable remainder of what once was a very vast landscape of inland dunes, heath lands and peat lands. Numerous rare and threatened species of plants and animals have been preserved here.
The natural value of this area as a whole and the common problems such as the dehydration, food enrichment and insufficiently controlled recreational pressure constituted the causes for a striving towards a common, cross-border protection.
More information: www.grensparkzk.be
Areas of Outstanding National Beauty are part of a family of protected areas recognised and classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) throughout the world. AONBs, National Parks and Heritage Coasts in England and Wales fall into Category V - Protected Landscapes. These are areas that have been moulded by centuries of human activity, where there is a diversity of land use with a "sense of place". Equivalent areas in other countries include the French Parcs Naturels Régionaux. The Kent Downs AONB has a special partnership with le Parc Naturel Régional des Caps et Marais d'Opale. The IUCN definition of Protected Landscape aims to maintain the harmonious balance between people, landscapes and nature for now and for future generations.
The Kent Downs is the eighth largest AONB (Areas of Outstanding National Beauty)in England and Wales, and administratively is one of the most complex falling within twelve local authorities and lying partly or wholly within 137 parish council boundaries.
The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 legislated for the designation of AONBs and National Parks. Their purpose was to be similar – to conserve and enhance natural beauty. The Countryside Commission defined the purpose of AONB designation in a statement of 1991.
More information: www.kentdowns.org.uk