AA - Project Zwin 1-1

120 extra hectares for the Zwin

Aannemingsbedrijf Aertssen is quite busy working in Knokke-Heist. The famous intertidal area the Zwin will be rebuilt and expanded with no less than, 120 hectares in the next three years. The new nesting islands, pools, cycling and hiking paths will undoubtedly charm humans and animals alike.

The nature reserve as we know it today, was founded in 1952 by Count Léon Lippens and is a paradise for numerous plants and animals. Unfortunately, the intertidal area is threatened as it is steadily silting up. Large-scale interventions are required to avoid the valuable nature reserve from going to waste.

Strong partnership

Together with partner Artes Depret, we join forces and take on this challenge to add an additional 120 hectares of natural plains to the protected nature reserve, which will make it a total of 333 hectares in size. This sizeable job requires a fair share of professional skill and suitable equipment to protect the vulnerable plants and animals. With specially adapted machinery, more than 2,600,000 m³ of soil will be levelled and raised.

We will also construct a new international dyke of no less than 3.7 km long, 7 m high and 55-70 m wide. This should protect the Zwin against possible storms and will also serve as a cycling path.

What else is on the agenda?

  • widening, deepening and extending the Zwin gully;
  • applying bank protection made of rubble;
  • constructing a new canal system around the new dyke and a pumping station to guarantee the drainage of the hinterland;
  • planting shrubs and making pools;
  • raising the soil to make new breeding islands;
  • building new lookouts, cycling and hiking paths;
  • placing fences for grazing by cattle and sheep;

Across borders

The project is situated both on Belgian and Dutch territory, which makes the whole thing quite complex. Thanks to good communication between the different actors, we are still on schedule with the progress of the work.

As you can see: a project involving a lot of ‘People, Power & Passion’. You will certainly hear about this project in the future. We will keep you informed...