Sonian Forest joins European Rewilding Network

The Sonian Forest south and east of Brussels is now part of the European Rewilding Network. Rewilding is large-scale conservation aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and core wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species. Rewilding projects may require ecological restoration or wilderness engineering, particularly to restore connectivity between fragmented protected areas, and reintroduction of predators where extirpated.

The Flemish Woodland’s Agency says that the Sonian Forest’s joining the rewilding network puts it on the map internationally.

The European Rewilding Network has been in existence since 2013 and comprises 42 areas in 18 European countries. In each of the areas that make up the rewilding network, nature is allowed to take its course with only minimal intervention from man.

The fauna that is present is given every chance to gain a foothold and to increase its presence. The naturalising of the areas also provides opportunities for tourism.

In the Sonian Forest dear, wild boar, highland cattle and foxes all live in the wild. The highland cattle grazing in a meadow next to the Forestry Museum in Groenendaal, near Hoeilaart (Flemish Brabant). It is hoped that soon the badger and the European pine marten will be reintroduced into the forest.

The ‘Rewilding Europe’ certificate will be presented to the three regional agencies responsible for the Sonien Forest on Friday 19 February at 12:30pm at the Flemish Woodland Agency’s regional HQ in Hoeilaart.


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