• Country:
    Belgium, Netherlands
  • Start year:
  • Location:
    On the border of the Belgian province of Limburg and the 2 Dutch provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant
  • Size (ha):
  • Area Type:
    Belgium, Netherlands
  • Type of protection:
    Natura 2000, Birds directive, Habitats directive, Flemish Ecological Network (B), Ecological Main Structure (NL)

Kempen~Broek is situated at the base of a plateau. In this lower area, many creeks merge in valleys, wetlands and marshes. These lie between inland dunes, covered with heathland and forests. The result is a diverse landscape with a rich biodiversity due to the many ecological gradients.

One of the marshlands in Kempen~Broek


  • Habitat types: Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters, Calcareous fens, Bog woodland, Northern Atlantic wet heaths, European dry heaths, Transition mires and quaking bogs, Depressions on peat substrates, Old acidophilous oak woods, Alluvial forests
  • Keystone species present: beaver, tree frog, honey buzzard, red backed shrike
  • Fauna (mega) species present: roe deer
  • Fauna species reintroduced: red deer (planned)
  • Vegetation types present: forests with oak and birch, pine forests with Scots pine, bogwood, dry heath, wet heath, alluvial forests, mire, reed beds, dry and wet grasslands


  • Description: A cross border (Belgium and Netherlands) cooperation between 40 organisations and government agencies with the aim to preserve and/or restore a high quality landscape with a rich biodiversity. These qualities are used to generate a sustainable economic development for the region. For that reason, the partners realized a high quality network of trails (walking, horse back riding,...), visitor centres, educational programs and a broad spectrum of communication tools.
  • Aim: Building a strong, cross border chain of green areas with benefits for people (inhabitants and visitors) and biodiversity.<br /> <br /> In order to reach this goal, the partners want to (re)connect:<br /> people with nature<br /> nature with nature<br /> policy with practice and <br /> economy with biodiversity
  • Vision: Kempen~Broek will become a high quality landscape with restored wetlands, natural forests, agricultural areas and heathlands. A rich biodiversity and herds of cattle, horses, red deer,.. roam across the border and attract many visitors. It will become one of the driving forces for the local economy.
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: The main wetlands are restored, the majority of the forests will be converted to natural forests, defragmentation will be largely solved, red deer and otter have returned, people enjoy spending time in the park and inhabitants are proud of their 'backyard'.
  • Uniqueness: 'Kempen~Broek' still has or is: large, connected and natural areas in a highly urbanized region; a rich biodiversity with species that are extinct in the rest of the country; a laboratory for using large herds of grazers and more specifically the 'TaurOs' project.
  • Results so far: Beaver is present, recent otter sightings + expectation otter will return, red deer (reintroduction program in preparation).
  • Flagship species: Beaver
  • Other characteristics: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Other, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products


  • Inspirational value: The partners in the project have extensive knowledge and experience in long term transnational cooperation, stakeholder involvement, visitor management and rewilding projects with European funding.
  • Experience you would like to share: cross border cooperation, stake holder involvement, communication, reintroduction projects, climate buffer projects
  • Experience you would like to gain: cross border projects, reintroduction projects, climate buffer projects


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