The call for the BNIP pilot projects in 2017 was a success and resulted in eight small-scale inspiring projects. In almost 2 years’ time these projects achieved great things.
Read here what Stéphane Delogne has realised.
Enjoying valuable meadows thanks to private owner
Private owner Stéphane Delogne combines extensive farming, education and nature restoration in the inspiring project Wet meadows to enjoy at Bertrix and Herbeumont, by restoring a wet meadow complex together with school children and local residents.
The project focuses on an area in the Natura 2000 zone Haute Vierre, a site located east of Gribomont, in the alluvial plain of the Vierre. The lack of management by successive owners meant that the site was seriously neglected and suffered from environmental pollution. And that was a pity, especially because the area had a lot of potential to develop into a beautiful natural area.
Together with a herd of Scottish Highlanders, a group of motivated schoolchildren and local residents, the area was hugely improved. Mobile fences were placed in such a way that the herd could graze specific parts of the area. By grazing, the pressure of the nettle is immediately reduced, which is positive for other vegetation and good news for butterfly populations. The snipe, which has already hibernated on the site, also benefits from good pasture management. The access of cattle to a partly wooded area stimulates the export of nitrogenous substances to the undergrowth area.
By involving school children and young people in the management of the area, the project also has significant educational value: young people learn about nature management, the preservation of biodiversity and the local natural heritage. With positive results! At the end of the project, several youngsters applied for an apprenticeship and several schools applied for a project visit. The project also aroused curiosity and commitment among local residents, who had previously shown no interest in the area. The project coordinator was also invited by professors in Soignies to explain the link between nature conservation, Natura 2000 and extensive farming techniques.
It is clear that the project will continue to thrive through the support of the local population. The area will be a dynamic nature reserve that combines the efforts of local residents, local youth and extensive agriculture into a beautiful Natura 2000 gem!