With the ‘Scalluvia’ Life+ project, some 90 ha of alder swamp forests and creeks in the Polders of Kruibeke were given an optimal natural design so that rare species such as the bitterling, spined loach, bluethroat, kingfisher, little bittern, purple heron, beaver and otter can feel at home again. The project not only aims to restore these forests and creeks, but also to allow everyone to enjoy this jewel on the river Scheldt.From September 2013 to September 2018,four partners worked together to realise this project: Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos, De Vlaamse Waterweg NV, the local Natuurpunt association KRUIN vzw (Kruibeeks Natuurbehoud)and the municipality of Kruibeke. The total cost of the project was € 1,745,000, half of which was donated by the European Commission.
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10 keys to co-ownership
Over five years – from September 2013 to September 2018 – we have created an amazing project together with an array of partners. And a crucial aspect is that not a single rehabilitation measure would have succeeded without cooperation.
Public opinion regarding the Polders of Kruibeke has evolved in 15 years from massive resistance to pride and enthusiasm. Life+ Scalluvia also played its part by making local residents co-owners of the area in ten steps. It is precisely this last phase that will ensure the sustainability of the entire project. Clear communication and participation were key to the strong support.
We were finalists for the Natura 2000 Award in 2018 and proud winner of the Natura2000 Award 2020 in the category ‘reconciling interests/perceptions’.
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