In this flood control area with reduced tides – the first of its kind in the world after the Lippenbroek pilot project! – you will find varied tidal nature including mudflats, marshes and tidal willow forest.

Surface area: 41 hectares
Territory: Wichelen
Area type:  flood control area with reduced tides
Project target: tidal nature


Bluethroat An innovative sluice (the only one of its kind in the world) allows a limited amount of water from the Scheldt to flow into and out of the Bergenmeersen with the rhythm of the ebb and flow. This will bring about the creation of rare nature, such as freshwater mudflats and marshes and tidal willow forests. The combination of a reduced tidal area with a flood control area means that we can contain large quantities of water in Bergenmeersen when the weather conditions are extreme. This is needed only once or twice per year, and this capability remains compatible with the natural land development.

During low tide, the mudflats are exposed so that the common teal, the common shelduck and a variety of waders can come to them and forage for food. The creeks and pools are true breeding grounds for fish from the Scheldt basin.

In the marshes, typical marsh plants, such as the reed and the common cattail, will expand their habitats. In the summer, the cattails transform the Bergenmeersen into a sea of purple. After some time, willows will colonise the area.

The bluethroat and the reed warbler feel right at home in these reed beds and tidal willow forests. We also hope to be paid a visit by the black-crowned night heron.