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Open Monument Day arrives at the Sonian Forest

Five historical buildings in and around the Groenendaal priory will open their doors to the public on Sunday 13 September.

logo heritaThe list of historic property open for visits on the Open Monument Day is impressive. For one day only, guides and foresters will show you  what this precious heritage site looks like from the inside.

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12 countries strive to have beech forests recognised as World Heritage

The procedure to recognise the Sonian Forest as a World Heritage Site is underway. This summer, the three Belgian regions, along with twelve other European countries, will prepare their Nomination Files.

Photo de Fort de SoignesSite web

© Frédéric Demeuse

Since the end of January 2015, parts of the Sonian Forest have been included in the shortlist of 33 untouched beech forests.

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Mountain bike adventures in the Sonian Forest

Mountain biking is fun, good for your health and adventurous! However, more and more accidents with mountain bikes have been occurring lately. Why is that? What should you pay attention to as a mountain biker?


© Pascal Mannaerts

Damien Bauwens, director of the Nature and Forest Department: ‘The increasing number of visitors is putting more and more pressure on the forest. We need to protect the animals and the plants, along with the future of the forest.”

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Seen a mammal? Report your sighting!

A fox in your garden? This is valuable information for the new Mammal Atlas of Brussels. 15 years after the last mammal atlas, Environment Brussels launches a new count of wild mammals living in Brussels.

C Marc Nollet 6

© Marc Nollet

Help us to complete the new Mammal Atlas and let us know what wild mammal you have seen.

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Interesting documentary on the Sonian Forest: watch and enjoy

Why do dogs off their leash form a threat to the animals in the forest? How do both slugs and roe deer benefit from a wildlife crossing? Why can chopping down trees be a good thing for nature? Find out all this and more in this beautiful documentary about the Sonian Forest on tvbrussel.

Watch and enjoy the enchanting images of the forest and its many inhabitants:


15 cameras put animals in the spotlight

Earlier this year the team from the LIFE+ OZON project, focused on defragmentation of the Sonian Forest, placed 15 cameras around the passages under the Brussels Ring road and the E411. These are providing a unique look at the animals making use of these ecological thoroughfares.

Vos (LIFE+ OZON)The European LIFE+ OZON project is taking action to help reduce the fragmentation of the Sonian Forest. By 2017, there will be eight new wildlife passages over and under places where the highway crosses the woods, including a 60-metre wide eco duct. Nearby, 18 existing tunnels and passages are being renovated to make it easier for bats, foxes, badgers and other animals to pass.

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Welcome to the Groenendaal Ecoduct

Groenendaal Ecoduct. This is the name of the new ecoduct over the ring around Brussels that will connect both sides of the Sonian Forest.

Ecoduct Groenendaal

Ecoduct Groenendaal © Witteveen+Bos

Project leader Steven Vanonckelen: “Our appeal to come up with a name received a lot of response, more than thirty people submitted a proposal. We were looking for a name that is understood across all language borders and that certainly applies to Groenendaal Ecoduct.”

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