Nature photos of the Van Woelderen Park
Pictures of rare brackish nature in the VanWoelderenpark
In the past Zeeland and salt water have always been either friend or foe. The whole delta area is a constant interaction between two sorts of water: fresh and brackish. Everywhere we find place names which remind us of this. Of course, humans played a large role in stopping salt water, from the first dike builders during the Middle Ages who came from Flanders for land reclamation up to the more structured regional water authorities we have today. The term ‘enemy water’ was also often used during times of war as an effective strategy: for instance, during the Spanish war with savvy techniques that were initiated by the rebellious insurgents. Another example was during the second World War when allied forces in their London headquarters decided to inundate the below sea level island of Walcheren. This kind of terrorism ‘avant la lettre’ brought salt water again behind our dikes where it could flow unhindered in and out with the tides twice a day during a whole year. The Nollebos turned into a creeks landscape which is still recognizable to this day. The salt deposited remained in the park, this way adding to the salt that was there to begin with in the peat layer under the clay. In addition, as a result of the heavy pressure during high tide, seawater is seeping from under the dunes into the park. This natural process has created a rare and sustainable but also very fragile ecosystem. Put it this way: it really is astonishing and unique in the world to find such a nature reserve where fresh water plants live next to brackish water plants in a park that is located within city limits.