Please find driving directions below the main text
Bank account of “National Trust Belgium” (NTAB)
BE17 0016 2443 2021
June will give us the opportunity to breathe in some healthy sea air.
What better way to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Flemish Coast than by discovering the recently renovated and enlarged Zwin Nature Reserve, straddling the border between Belgium and The Netherlands.?
This outdoor walk will immerse us in its rich world of marine plants and birds.
IMPORTANT NOTICE : PARTICIPANTS ARE ASKED TO WEAR FACE MASKS AND RESPECT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES
The Zwin plain is an exceptional meadow landscape area: a foreshore. The interaction between ebb and flow has created a habitat consisting of salt marshes known for their rare plants that can survive this unique saltwater biotope. The sea lavender or ‘Zwinneblomme’ is just one of these plants.
But above all, the mud flats are a rich and varied food source for many rare bird species. It’s no surprise that the plain is often described as an international airport for foreign birds. They come here to breed, hibernate or simply forage for food or, in the case of the storks, to “welcome” you.
This wonderful world will open its many facets during our 2.30h guided walk. The enjoy the most of your visit it is highly recommended to bring your binoculars. Appropriate clothing is recommended depending on the weather.
In June the breeding islands will be particularly busy, the storks will have their chicks and above all we may be lucky to spot the sunning of the rare common tree frog.
Whether we will be able to visit the Zwin Exhibition, where we can virtually fly alongside the Zwin migratory birds, is still uncertain.
After the guided visit, the participants are free to have lunch, for example in the Zwin bistro “The Shelter” or to have a picnic in the open air, in accordance with the then applicable Corona measures.
More background information:
The Zwin Nature Reserve was founded by Count Léon Lippens in 1952, making it the first Flemish nature reserve. To create this nature reserve Count Léon Lippens drew inspiration from the Slimbridge Wetland Centre founded by Sir Peter Scott in Slimbridge ( England).
The province of West Flanders and the Flemish Agency for Nature and Forests , since 2006 owners of the bird park and Zwin plain, decided to join forces to transform the former Zwin in todays Zwin Nature Park. The new park opened in June 2016 and covers currently 333 hectares.
The nature reserve covers the area of the tidal Zwin inlet which during the Middle Ages was connected to the ports of Sluis, Damme and Brugge . From the late 13th century onwards the channel was affected by progressive silting which ultimately caused the waterway to be unusable and cut off the harbour of Brugge from the sea.
from Brussels: take the E40. Exit Brugge direction Brugge/Haven Zeebrugge (E403), continue on the N31 and then on the A11, exit Natiënlaan/N49. Take the N376 and next the Hazegrasstraat to the Graaf Leopold Lippenslaan.
From Antwerp: take the E34 and N49.
by train and bus: from Knokke train station: line 12 Knokke- Zoute- Oosthoek.
As the Zwin Nature Park is not easily reached by public transport, members/participants are kindly asked to consider car-pooling or communicate their willingness to give a lift to those who have no car.