Van Woelderen Park

The van Woelderenpark is the park formed by the Nollebos in the south and the Westduin Park in the north. In the west it borders on dunes and to the east it has the Burgemeester van Woelderenlaan. The forrest which is now called Nollebos was founded by C.A. van Woelderen in 1925. The Westduinpark was conceived in the seventies of last century as a complementary extension of the forrest by which the social aspect of recreation had to be central for the user, namely the inhabitant of Vlissingen.

The Logo

Our logo symbolises a blue-green oasis.

The green beam, low and flat, supports the green nature of the park.

The blue, suspended above the green, is the symbol of water making contact with the park. During the war through incoming waves coming from the sea which caused devastation on the island of Walcheren. After the war and the reparation of the inundation in the form of rainwater, but also as seepage saltwater coming from under the dunes into the below sea-level park resulting in
rare brackish nature..

The planting of a Juliana-oak in the Nollebos to celebrate the marriage of Princess Juliana with Prins Bernhard. Burgomaster C.A. van Woelderen (with bowler-hat), his daughter and mrs. van Woelderen-Sprenger.

Nature photos of the Van Woelderen Park

Winter aconite in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark

Blackthorn in bloom in the van Woelderen Park.

Flutter elm in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark at the crossing of the German tank ditch from the second World War with the U-shaped moat from Swanenburg castle.

Hawthorne in bloom alongside a path with a bridge and with cow parsley and willows.

Yellow iris in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark

A video about yellow iris on Youtube.

A south-westerly storm bent over a 3-meter-high giant hogweed with curling leaves in the VanWoelderenpark. The hundreds of undug weed specimen in the park are a symbol of the audacity and the backroom politics since the expansion wishes of the sauna proprietor in the ’90-ies and the sale wishes of the Kanovijver proprietor during the first decade of this century.

A video about the giant hogweed on Youtube.

Waterlilies in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark.

Capricious white poplars, sometimes also called silver poplar, in the VanWoelderenpark. The white poplar is, because of the extreme growing circumstances in Zeeland, very fitting. At the head of the former island Walcheren (Westkapelle) this tree species does not grow higher than four meters and is bent all the way to the east. This tree species should symbolically be baptized as ‘The tree of Zeeland.’

Rose hips from the dog rose in the VanWoelderenpark.

The fruit of the blackthorn in the VanWoelderenpark.

Alongside a small path with old pollard willows in the VanWoelderenpark we discovered on one willow no less than three sulphur fungus. The appearance of fungus on a tree is often a sign of illness. On the long term this always leads to death. The foundation would like to have these pollard oaks replaced by the walnut tree Juglans Regia Broadview which grows very well in Zeeland.

Detail of the sulphur fungus.

Real chamomile in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark.

The pink waterlily, a variation of the white waterlily as seen above, in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark

A Flora potpourri in the VanWoelderenpark near a fresh water lake: the wild teasel, the common hogweed, the white poplar and the hairy fireweed in between reed.

Detail of the large teasel in bloom with a pollinating bumblebee.

The blue anemone in the Nollebos part of the park along a footpath.

Willow catkins along the salty nature reserve in the VanWoelderen 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.

Milkweed in the VanWoelderenpark.

True Fox-sedge in the VanWoelderenpark.

Sea aster in bloom in the VanWoelderenpark.

Samphire in the VanWoelderenpark.