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Conservation Facts

Population: 10.3 million
Total Area: 30.510 km2
Population density: 337 per km2
National Parks: 1
“NATURA 2000” sites: 530
Largest Nature reserve: Réserve Naturelle Des Hautes Fagnes 4.400 ha

Resident Photographers:

Visiting Photographers:

Maurizio Biancarelli

Belgium Galleries

With one of the highest population densities in Europe, Belgium can be associated with many things: the EU administration, old trading cities like Antwerp and Genth, a highway which traffic lights you can see from the moon, wafles and “frites” – but nature? At a second glance though even nature enthusiasts will be surprised to find some exciting places scattered between the cities and highways and at the borders with Germany, France and the Netherlands.

One of these places is the Hallerbos forest, a famous destination among nature photographers since several years. For a few weeks in April the forest floor bears a blue-green carpet of fragile Bluebell flowers and the scent of Wild Garlic fills the air. The fresh green leaves and silver trunks of Common beech add even more striking colours to this forest making it a perfect weekend walking destination for the citizens of Brussels, which is just a 20 minute drive away.
Whilst Hallerbos is a rather tiny place with 550 ha, the “Hautes Fagnes” or High Fenlands of the Ardennes and the adjacent forests of the Eifel on the German side comprise a protected area of more than 2.700 km2.
Visitors can walk for days or even weeks in mixed coniferous forests at altitudes of 600 m and more and enjoy the wonderful scenery of a very diverse landscape. Large peat bogs are a unique and at the same time highly valued natural asset of the area with a stunning diversity of highly adaptable plants, insects and birds.
The forests hold good numbers of red deer and wild boar and even species like the lynx and the wild cat the borderlands their home.
Beavers have successfully been reintroduced to some of the river-systems of the area.

In 2006 the country opened its first National Park and a very special one indeed.

An area in the province of Limburg, shaped by a century-long history of intensive coal mining, then gained protection thanks to the enthusiasm and creativeness of a team of dedicated conservationists around Ignas Schop. The initiative proved that this second-hand-nature National Park would not only be a haven for many red-list species but also generated more than 400 jobs and new sources of income for local communities.