Field Trip – European Conference on Private Land Conservation

Discover how the longstanding relationship between a family and a nature NGO resulted in one of the most precious chunks of interconnected nature in the very fragmented Flemish landscape.
We are organising a shuttle bus from the conference to the estate. The shuttle will leave at 14:00 CET from Royal Cercle Gaulois, Rue de la Loi, 5, Brussels and bring you back there at around 19:00 CET.

In the fragmented landscape of Flanders, Krabbels-Lovenhoek forms a precious chunk (> 200 ha) of interconnected and very varied nature, ranging from alluvial forests with wet grasslands and fresh waterbodies to dry forest with heather relicts. The area consists of two parts, Krabbels and Lovenhoek.

The Krabbels domain has a history dating back to the Middle Ages. In 1873, the Krabbels domain, and at the time its castle, came into the hands of the van de Werve d’Immerseel family. In the decades that followed, the van de Werve d’Immerseel family ensured the conservation and further development of the natural values on the Krabbels domain through various projects. 

The Lovenhoek has an unprecedented natural beauty, the owners of the former illegal weekend cottages scattered in the area probably also noticed this. Natuurpunt bought the core of the area in 2007 with the support of the municipality of Vorselaar and started with habitat restoration. They removed major part of the illegal cottages, gave room to water and are restoring forest, heather, swamp and water habitats through specific nature management. 

Krabbels-Lovenhoek is a classroom example of the core idea of LIFE ENPLC. Near the start of the 21th century some members of the van de Werve d’Immerseel family joined forces with Natuurpunt, resulting in a joint venture between these private landowners and a nature NGO. With a common goal to protect nature. 

During this fieldtrip, we are welcomed by Gaetan van de Werve d’Immerseel and Natuurpunt’s curator Ilf Jacobs. They will tell with great enthusiasm about their beloved Krabbels-Lovenhoek and how the coöperation evolved over the years.

Pack your rainboots! We are visiting a wetland.


The news items collected on this blog have been written by project partners of the LIFE ENPLC project.