Restoration of meanders
There are dozens of old meanders along the Demer. Meanders are natural bends in the river which have been disconnected from the river throughout the years. Meanders containing flowing water ensure dynamic and life in the water they contain. They give rivers a natural character and can help store water during heavy rainfall. Besides that, they also form a natural buffer in periods of increased precipitation. Because the meanders are currently shallower than the Demer itself, they also help to dam up the water, which combats drought conditions in the summer months. In total, some thirty disconnected meanders will be reconnected to the Demer.
Thanks to the reconnection of the old meanders, an ecologically valuable river valley that is an extra 11 kilometres longer than the current valley (34 kilometres long) will develop. And with time, we hope to be able to welcome more and more rare visitors here, such as the beaver, the great bittern and the corncrake.
With the support of the European LIFE project Belini, a test project will be started in one of the Demer's meanders in 2018. An old bend in the river will once again be connected to the river. After the reconnection, the effect of this intervention will be monitored carefully for a period of three years. Points of special interest include water management, nature values and navigability for canoes, kayaks and service vessels.