Belgium: Nature & Wildlife
Despite being a relatively small country, Belgium hosts a great deal of wildlife. There are thousands of different kinds of plants as well as many animal species. Belgium is home to more than 350 bird species including buzzards, falcons, ducks, geese and more. Several small animals call Belgium home including foxes, badgers, weasels, beavers and seals as well as red deer, wild boar, lynxes and wild cats.
In 1973, the Law on Nature Conservation designated three types of protected land in Belgium: nature reserves, forest reserves and natural parks. Within these three types, there are more than 500 registered areas. Popular examples of these protected areas include Hoge Kempen National Park, Valleys of the Burdinale and Mehaigne Natural Park, The Zwin Nature Reserve, and High Fens-Eifel Nature Park.
Hoge Kempen National Park was established in March 2006 and protects the largest area of forest in Flanders. In the past, the area was used for mining; however, gravel pits were transformed into large artificial lakes. Within the park are more than 6,000 species of flora and fauna including numerous dragonflies and butterflies. Hoge Kempen National Park is a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike to walk, cycle and ride horses.
Valleys of the Burdinale and Mehaigne Natural Park stretches across 11,000 hectares in Wallonia. The park was named for two rivers that run through the park. The area is known for its incredible beauty and is listed on the Europe-wide Natura 2000 list of outstanding areas of biodiversity.
The Zwin Nature Reserve, located on the Belgian-Dutch border, has been a protected landscape in Belgium since 1939. By 1952, it had been named as a nature reserve, making it the oldest one in the country. Part of the park is shared with the Netherlands. The landscape is made up of marshes and dunes, making it a great breeding ground for sea birds.
High Fens-Eifel Nature Park is found in the Walloon province of Liège and the German Eifel region. Established in 1957, the nature park is home to Belgium’s highest point, Signal de Botrange (694 m / 2,276 ft). Many mammals inhabit the area including wild boar, roe deer, wildcats and more. The park is popular with tourists who enjoy hiking and cycling.
Belgium Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Belgium.
Learn about the history and culture of Belgium, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Belgium's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Belgium for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Belgium tours today!
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