Friday, November 28, 2014

Connecting wildlife

If you are connected with me through me Instagram or Facebook pages, you might have seen me hanging around this tree with this huge bridge behind me. Behind me you see a nature bridge or as the Dutch call it: an Eco duct. This special bridge connects two sides of a natural environment so animals can cross the highway safely. Remember, me talked about it in E is for…. This bridge behind me is called De Kempengrens and it is a very special bridge. Me shall tell you why.

Nature bridges for wildlife
There are many nature bridges in the Netherlands, but they aren’t placed haphazardly around the country. After very long research of animal protectors and conservationists they discovered old wildlife trails that the animals always used to go from A to B. These trails are really ancient and locked up in the DNA of the animals. Cool huh. A bear, wolf, snake or hog really knows how to get somewhere. When the researchers found the trails, they also saw that lots of highways cross the wild trails. So that is why they thought of the nature bridges. Large bridges covered with greenery and possible habitats. The bridges are also crossing highways in Germany and Belgium.

Special & unique
This particular bridge however is a very unique project. It is the first Eco bridge built in cooperation between two countries: the Netherlands and Belgium. Sharing resources and costs to build it. That is cool huh. It is built on Belgium territory (that was easier) and it connects the Dutch and the Belgium part of the Nature Park ‘de Kempen’. This way forest animals and other wildlife can finally meet each other or take a vacation in another country.

A whole new world
To celebrate the realisation of the Eco duct Berry was invited to a press event. And of course me tagged along to Belgium. Hey, me love to travel! The best part of the press event was that we could take a look ON TOP of the Eco duct. The wide bridge also gives animals all kinds of shelters and habitats, so they will feel right at home. It was so cool to see. And to hear. It is really quiet on top of the bridge. You would almost forget the highway in beneath it. Although the bridge needs to grow some more vegetation, me could see how beautiful it will be when it is all finished. Me thinks butterflies, wasps, bees, small snakes, badgers, deer, bunnies and more wildlife will feel right at home. And the bats will love the special bat cave (no Batman wasn’t in there) the people build for them too.

It was very great to see this and made me appreciate the Eco ducts even more!

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