CANAPE: Construction begins at De Nol

21 November 2022 - Published by Harry Mach
After much careful planning and preparation, Natuurpunt has begun construction work at De Nol, Belgium. These works will raise the water level on De Nol, cutting the Greenhouse Gas emissions and protecting the biodiversity of this wild landscape.

De Nol is a former raised bog on the edge of Kalmthouste Heide, a beautiful mosaic of rare landscapes on the edge of the Grenspark, which straddles the Dutch-Belgian Border. From the top of the inland sand dunes on the southern edge, its damp landscape stretches away to the farms in the distance. 

The damp landscape is already home to much wildlife, but it is still a long way from a fully restored area. 

A coiled brown snake with a dark zig zag pattern on its back. It is sat in some long grass.

Viper berus, otherwise known as the Common European Adder or Common European Viper, is often found sunbathing in this area. This one was pictured finding the last of the Autumn warmth on a cold October Day in 2019.

The main work is to install a foil screen along the lower edge of the area. This will reduce the outflow of water from the site, raising the overall water level. The screen stretches down to the underlying impermeable layer, former a water tight screen. This gives it a height of 5m, and it is nearly a kilometre long, covering the Northern edge of the 60 hectare site. This will raise water levels from the current 30 to 14cm below ground level, to a range of 25cm below to 5cm above, depending on the season and rainfall. 

This will cut emissions from the site by 180 tonnes of CO2e per year, and safeguard the 14,000 tonnes of CO2e stored in the peat on the site. 


Aerial photograph of a healthland landscape surrounded by woods, with agricultural fields in the foreground. On the edge of the agricultural fields, a red line is marked, showing where the foil screen is to be installed, at the boundary of the wild areas and agricultural land.

The location of the foil screen

By raising the water levels, greenhouse gas emissions will be significantly reduced, and the remaining peat layer protected from further erosion. It will also make the site more attractive to wildlife, with particular target species including Common Crane and the beautiful sundew plant. 

For more information about the work we are doing at De Nol, and the fascinating wider landscape, watch Frederik and Rudi chat to Harry about it at our CANAPE chats episode below.