The unique Waterdunen nature reserve brings together a saltwater tidal zone, recreational amenities, coastal defences and an area set aside for saline crop trials. Are you mad about birdwatching? Zeeland-Flanders most recent nature reserve, opened at the end of 2021, allows you to observe birdlife at close hand. Don’t forget your binoculars. Your eyes will be popping!
What makes Waterdunen so popular?
The nature reserve is barely a year old, yet large amounts of bird and plant species can be found here. What makes Waterdunen so special? It interacts with the Westerschelde estuary. With the constant ebb and flow of its tidal waters, its landscape of salt marshes, creeks, sandbanks and mud flats offers something completely different.
The waterside environment provides food for all sorts of wildlife, including worms, crabs and shrimps. Thousands of birds flock to the area. These include migrating birds, but also birds that arrive to nest on the breeding grounds set out here. Due to the influence of the tide, salt marshes have developed, leading to the cultivation of saline vegetables and oysters, for example.
What’s there to do in Waterdunen?
Birdspotting from the bird hides
For birdspotters, this bird paradise is a feast for the eyes. To the west of the reserve are two bird hides which have been designed with children in mind. Along the central footpath there are two more bird hides: the Koloniehut (with a view over the breeding grounds) and the Trekvogelhut (with a view onto the creeks). The bird hides allow you to observe the birds at close hand without them seeing you!
Hiking and cycling trails
Pull on your hiking boots because there are three hiking trails in Waterdunen: the vogelroute (5.5 km); the golfroute (9 km); and the zeekraal route (4,5 km). Along these routes you will pass a number of bird hides and viewing screens.
Cyclists too can indulge themselves, as there are some fantastic routes around the reserve. These routes will take you past the tidal culvert, the lighthouse and the bird-counting station.
More about Waterdunen
If you have mobility issues, the nature reserve is still accessible. Would you like to know more about Waterdunen? For example, about how it evolved, as well as practical information about visiting this nature reserve? Read more on the website of Het Zeeuwse Landschap (information in Dutch only).