Completely upstream, in Geel and Laakdal, lies the Zammelsbroek nature area. Just like Tussen Hellebrug en Herenbossen, the valley here will be made wetter, like it used to be. This will result in hours of hiking enjoyment on the De Merode walking path network, which guides you through a unique diversity of biotopes, alluvial meadows, pools and ponds.

Surface area: 200 hectares
Territory: Geel, Laakdal and Herselt
Area type:  nature reserve
Project target: winter riverbed and wetlands


Chabot bullhead Great bittern  

Located on the edge of Zammelsbroek are dry sandy lands. The countless ponds and marshes here were created as a result of iron ore mining. The restoration plan for the valley includes the creation of more wetlands with reed marshes and wide reed beds, brushwood and marshy and bare grasslands. Hopefully, this will attract various birds, such as the great bittern, the corncrake, the kingfisher and the spotted crake, to come and lay their eggs here. The sills in the river and the restoration of the winter riverbed, as well as the open connection between Grote Nete and its tributaries, increase the natural dynamic of the river. This way, fish – including the rare chabot bullhead and the brook lamprey – will once again be able to move freely between the river and its winter beds and tributaries. This provides them with quiet spots to forage for food and to spawn.