Belgium – From grassland to living forest in Flanders

Near the Flemish Luciebos, a large grassland of 11 hectares lies in between a number of nature reserves. Currently, this piece of land has hardly any value for local nature. Only English ryegrass, a type of grass used as fodder, grows there. Because only one species grows there, the grassland is not an attractive environment for plants and animals. Biodiversity there is thus incredibly low. Moreover, the land is intensively fertilised and mown, preventing nature from developing itself properly. High time to change this!

Therefore, together with Trees for All and Limburgs Landschap Vlaanderen, we want to convert the grassland into forest. The plan is to plant 4,770 trees and shrubs. These will be native tree species that belong in this environment, such as pedunculate oak, sessile oak, beech, rough birch, downy birch and sweet cherry. Various shrubs will also be given a place on the land, including wild rowan, spruce, hazel and biennial hawthorn. The more variety of trees and shrubs, the more different plants and animals are found in the forest, such as badgers, tawny owls, woodpeckers, bats, and butterflies. Moreover, a mixed forest is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change, such as disease or drought.

Thus, we then connect existing nature into one large natural area, where all kinds of plants and animals will feel at home.