Nature area Zuidlaardermeer is ready and a new oases for the Bittern is awaits

The spring has started and the activities around the lake are increasing. It is a beautiful sight to see, the kite surfers and the patient fishermen all enjoying the peacefulness. While we spot the activities we can also say we finished the project Groninger Lanschap gave us to revitalise the reed banks of Zuidlaardermeer.

Knoop Baggerwerken started this project in January of 2016. The goal was to improve the habitat of Zuidlaardermeer and to make it attractive again for marsh birds.

Overgrowth, soil acidification and decreased waterlevels have caused less growth of reed and water reed. Therefor many foraging and bread areas disappear along with the Bittern, the bearded reedling, the great reed warbler and the Savi’s warbler. To prevent this the Zuidlaardermeer are has been rearrangements and the banks have been rewetted.

Working with majestic breeding birds by our side

To realise this Knoop Baggerwerken started in the spring of 2016 with forest removal with the help of amphibious excavators. The branches and trunks were shredded to small pieces. By removing the top soil the ground level is lowered and therefor gets rewetted. The removed top soil was used to built 2 meters high and 6 meters wide embankment. This groove was the transportroute that gave acces to the rotating truck dumpers to transport the removed soil.During the process of removing the top soil we got numerous visits of the Bittern to our great pleasure. A curious and up close Bittern that surprised us by not showing fear for the machines. But once a human came close he chose to hide again.

Start after breeding season

After the projects came to a stall because of the breeding season the work continued in August and the creation of the foreshore. First the contours of the foreshores were set out with the help of GPS. After that the amphibious excavator supported in placing 2300 meters of sheet piling. Behind the sheet piles the foreshores were partly filled with the soil that was previously removed. This helps the overgrown reed land to recover and new reed and water reed can be created.

The work took place on 4 different sites, Kruishammen, Leinwijk, Wolfsbarge and Bargekop. All were executed by Knoop Baggerwerken. In total 30 acres of reedfiels and 25 cm of topsoil was removed. In those areas big water segments were created with purpose of rifts and foraging pools. Now that the breeding season has started Zuidlaardermeer is ready for the arrival of many more marsh birds.


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