More space for water, nature and people in the Grote Nete Valley – Antwerps Persbureau

mall – Local and supra-local authorities are joining forces to work on Grote Nete in the future. And this future looks suspiciously like Grote Nete from decades ago. There will be more space for water, nature and people. By aligning ambitions, partners can achieve much more. For example, they dream aloud of new reception gates and a grand valley road from source to estuary.

Jan De Haes (N-VA), Deputy Environment and Nature: “Grote Nete is a beautiful river, full of ancient meanders, beautiful castles and water mills as a valuable heritage, Loire of the Kempen. The Grote Nete valley is priceless for its great wealth of nature, biodiversity and potential Exceptional Recreation: You’ll find countless places, often small but unique and relatively unknown, where it’s nice to stay.

Grote Nete was redeveloped in the 1970s with high dikes to drain water quickly to the sea. As a result, the river drains the valley rather than keeping the water in place and allowing it to soak into the ground. De Haes: “Today we realize that things have to change. The great drought of last summer shows that we need to give the rivers more space again, to be ready for the future. And that future will look suspiciously like the Grote Nete of my youth, with wet bushes and bogs and flood pastures and wide reed beds where water-related nature can develop.

Many actors are active in the valley. For example, the Flemish Nature, Forest and Waterway Agency contributes to the restoration of the valley using Plan Sigma. The river will again be given more area for flooding and about 850 hectares of wetland along the river will be restored. Several local partners (above) such as Natuurpunt, Regional Landscapes and Municipalities are also active in the area. In order to align existing operations with stakeholders’ actions and local authorities’ ambitions, the province of Antwerp took the initiative to start a district programme. It provides a platform to work together as a coalition. De Haes: “The fact that we’ve been here with so many partners shows how important the valley is both socially for our nature, our food supply, our future climate security and as an outdoor destination for fun, relaxation and relaxation.”

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In addition to operating in a climatically safe valley, the partners also focus on leisure. As Plan Sigma is being worked on, there will be places where people can no longer walk on the dam. Here and there, alternative paths will be created to return parts to nature and achieve valley restoration. De Haes: “Some people are still very skeptical. They are afraid that we will lose our Nete Valley, but the opposite is true. It will be more beautiful, although it will take several years before it becomes visible. Since it is a long-term project, we have planned For a number of quick wins.The revival of the diversion point in Pinzieleke is one of them.We want to bring people into the valley with him to show them what will happen.Of course the ferry also plays a recreational role.

The partners are also looking at possibilities to better open Grote Nete, for example by creating new reception points. A good example is Grote Netewoud in Meerhout, similar entry points can also be found at Hof Ter Laken in Booischot or Kruiskensberg in Herenthout en Bevel. De Haes: “We also want to do more for the many walkers and cyclists. That’s why we’re working on a great canyon route from source to mouth. This route tells one story of Grote Nete and puts all the heritage gems and nature reserves in the spotlight. Still There is a lot of work on the table for the partners.It is time to act and build the Grote Nete of the future in dialogue with all the parties involved.

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Discover Grote Net here:

. (EM/Photo by Tom CORNILLE)

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