10 Flemish private natural owners get European recognition
February 6, 2018
On Monday, February 5, at the Cercle Gaulois in Brussels, the Wildlife Estates Labels were presented to 20 Belgian private owners with special merits in the field of development for fauna and flora.
In the presence of Humberto Delgado Rosa (Director-General for Environment, European Commission), Konstantin Kostopoulos (CEO Wildlife Estates) and Carlos Otero (chairman of the European scientific committee of the WE-label), a total of 20 Belgian private domains, including 8 Flemish estates and 2 Flemish wildlife management units receive the prestigious WE label:
Stoket Estate (Geel)
A beautiful green lung between Kasterlee and Geel, located on the Kleine Nete. The forestry tradition of the Dierckx de Casterlé family has ensured particularly well-kept forests with a specific eye for water management.
The generation commitment of the family within the framework of the Koninklijke Bosbouwmaatschappij and later Landelijk Vlaanderen guarantees the conservation of a great deal of biodiversity in an area where intensive agriculture has taken a heavy toll.
Landgoed Heihuyzen (Malle)
The Heihuyzen estate of the Lenaerts family draws fully the map of sustainable management in economic, ecological and social terms. The objective of the estate is and remains its "self-sustaining" character, financial self-reliance, so that all functions of the estate can continue to develop.
In order to advance biodiversity, natural projects are regularly realized with the help of the Flemish government and with the objectives of Natura 2000 in mind. Over the years, many hectares of forest were transformed back into land and drift dunes and heath.
In 2014, the Heihuyzen estate also acquired the prestigious European "Anders Wall" award for environmental care.
Landgoed Overheide (Weelde)
This whole of ponds, fens, forests, heath and agricultural land, was the estate and observation area of one of the founders of Belgian ornithology, knight Georges van Havre. Today it still makes up one of the oldest hunting grounds of the Antwerp Kempen, with a strong rural tradition and a heart for nature.
The estate is entirely in Natura 2000; all habitat-worthy natural elements come under nature as part of a nature management plan and the whole of the forests will be managed according to the criteria integrated nature management.
Tulderheide is a small, but highly driven WBE in the Noorderkempen, for whom the passion for small game is at the forefront and has always made many efforts. It combines a very old hunting tradition with new initiatives and forms of fauna management.
The wildlife management unit draws in full the map of the Flemish Patrimental Project through the construction of hectares of wild-game, the stimulation of the laying of grass strips and grasslands and the maintenance of kilometers of hedges, hedges and small landscape elements.
Landgoed Het Loo
The very successful balance between high-quality food production through agriculture, ecosystem services and the development of biodiversity remain the core of the management at Landgoed Het Loo, which serves as an example. And this in both Flanders and the Netherlands, because the estate extends on both sides of the border, near Hamont, in the north of Limburg.
Continuing to prove the success of this sustainable balance is also the engine of the de l'Escaille family's commitment to continually addressing the added value of the private sector in rural areas, and as we all know, this is true. both for Flanders and Belgium, and for Europe!
Castle domain of Westerlo
The castle domain of Westerlo, which thanks to the special efforts of Prince Simon de Merode and his family on a socio-cultural level, enjoys a special atmosphere (with beautiful musicals that revive history) also has a management in the field of nature and forest. recognition as it deserves from the Wildlife Estates Label.
The biodiversity is particularly served by extensive management of all forests, the transformation of many forests into full-fledged habitats, adapted management of the floating structures and an upgrading of the water elements on the domain for the benefit of nature.
Landgoed Weeberg in Leefdaal
The estate is located on the plateau of Duisburg, and makes a beautiful whole out of open agricultural area with large isolated forest massifs, solitary trees and roadside vegetation along hollow roads and embankments. It has been the home of the De Liedekerke family for centuries.
This family has also consciously chosen to build kilometers of hedgerows, grass and fauna strips and hectares of fauna fields in cooperation with the VLM, to greatly increase biodiversity in this agricultural area.
The area is also for a third part in Natura 2000 and already in cooperation with the Regional Landscape Dijleland special furnishing works were carried out in favor of the midwife path.
Landgoed Scherpenbergen - De Hutten (Meerhout)
The highly diverse Kempen landscape between Geel and Meerhout, characterized by wooded barren gardens and former heathland reclamations, has a private estate that for decades has experimented extensively on its own accord in nature development and conservation, with beautiful realizations as a result and this on the vast majority of the surface area. of it. This exceptional achievement is the work of Mr. Alan Phillips and his solid belief in building expertise and choosing the right approach to private nature management.
The estate is located entirely in Natura 2000 and is a textbook example of integrated nature management at all levels, economically, ecologically and socially.
The estate is also a textbook example of successful multifunctionality where sustainable management of heritage and nature is central, and the social commitment of the estate is a great success.
Landgoed Loye (Lummen)
In the Demervallei between Lummen and Herk-de-Stad the castle grounds of Looi with its surrounding park and its beautiful drives, forests, farmlands and a large pond complex appear on this river. This magnificent ensemble, entirely in Natura 2000, has been provided for centuries by the Fabribeckers family.
The estate has the largest concentration of habitable galleon vegetation in Flanders. For this habitat, but also for others, the estate focuses on nature projects and collaborates with many other land owners on the development of a joint nature management plan with the Agency for Nature and Forest and the other involved sectors of the region.
Game management unit Vogelsanck
The members of the wildlife management unit manage a large number of water elements, dykes, heath and forests in the very valuable De Wijers area, against Hasselt in Limburg, the area of the 1000 ponds.
It is the habitat of pre-eminence of the bittern, the forest monkey and the tree frog, whose population has risen sharply thanks to the efforts of the hunter and the private management in this region.
The members of the WBE participated very actively from the hunting world in the LIFE + 3watEr project, which won the Natura 2000 Award for innovative cooperation in 2014 and last year, with the support of the WBE, many new projects submitted a new project to meet new nature goals. realize.