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De Panne:
Four Nature Reserves.

Réserve Westhoek

Nature Reserve “De Westhoek”
The 340-ha-large Westhoek reserve is the oldest Flemish nature reserve (established in 1957). Together with the French Dunes du Perroquet (225 ha), the water-collection area of Calmeynbos / Krakeelduinen (105 ha) and the municipal Oosthoekduinen (60 ha) it forms the largest closed dunes massif along our coast.
Six footways, marked by coloured beacons (11 km in all) allow the visitor to enjoy the rich diversity of landscapes while at the same time preserving the most vulnerable areas.


Nature Reserve “De Oosthoek”
This large domain of 60 ha is community property and, because of its rich variety of landscapes, a visit to this area is more than worth its while. The eastern part of the domain belongs to the Calmeynbos, which was wooded with a rich assortment of tree varieties for experimental as well as urban reasons. The actual Oosthoekduinen contain a dune dip richly grown with shrubbery and surrounded by higher and less overgrown dune slopes. The community domain is linked via the beautiful Artiestenpad (‘Artists’ path’) to a transitional zone and then to the polders. This area is currently rearranged and managed as a nature reserve (Duinzoom Oosthoek) by the Flemish authorities. At the edge of the Calmeynbos, the Visitors’ Centre De Nachtegaal (the Nightingale) opens its doors to everybody interested in nature and walking.


Nature Reserve “Cabour”
The fossil dunes of Adinkirke/Ghyvelde are like a small belt lying crosswise on the border of both countries. The Belgian part, called the ‘Cabour dunes’ or ‘Garzebekeveld’, takes up some 80 ha. It is a water-collection area and as such property of the intercity water management society of Veurne-Ambacht (IWVA). The area is not freely accessible but guided walks are organised on a regular basis. These dunes are the oldest of the Belgian coast and the remains of a 5500-year-old sea wall.


Natural Reserve “De Houtsaegerduinen”
The Flemish nature reserve ‘Houtsaegerduinen en Kerkepannebos’ (86 ha in all) lies closed in between the habitations of De Panne and St. Idesbald. The once largely open and humid dunes area is for the greater parts dried up and thickly overgrown by natural dune thickets (shrubbery and young trees). The Kerkepannebos and the corridor along the Kerkepannepad are open free of charge to nature-respecting visitors the whole year round.


Visitor Centre Nachtegaal
The centre is situated on the border of the Calmeynbos and the Oosthoekduinen. It boosts permanent exhibitions on the flora and fauna of the dunes and the beach.


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De Panne, Belgium

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