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5 new wood piles for stag beetle

Last month, new wood piles for stag beetles were constructed in 5 spots in the Sonian Forest.

Vilda_52985_Opstijgend_Vliegend_hert_Jeroen_MentensThe stag beetle is very rare in Belgium and protected by law. This impressive beetle hasn’t been seen in the Sonian Forest for several decades. However, the insect could still be found in a residential area in Bosvoorde a few hundred metres away from the forest, in the centre of Overijse and in the Park of Tervuren.

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Three new animal tunnels underneath Brussels Ring

In the last few months, three new tunnels were drilled underneath the Brussels Ring. Foxes, badgers and smaller animals can use these tunnels to travel from one part of the Sonian Forest to the other.



The tunnels were drilled underneath the Brussels Ring, in a place where the forest forms a natural valley. They lie on the migration paths of many animals, so they can make maximal use of the tunnels.

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Artists from the three Belgian regions on a journey through the forest

A four-day journey on foot through the Sonian Forest, from the Walloon Region through Flanders into the Brussels Region. Every day a musical performance with dance in a tree. That is the project ‘from tree to tree’ in a nutshell. The project runs from Wednesday 16 September to Saturday 19 September.

© Francis Sautois

Cie Arbricolage is a young company that makes creations about diversity in forests and people. From 16 to 19 September and with support of the Prince Philippe Fund (KBF), Cie Arbricolage creates ‘From tree to tree’, an acoustic version with contrabass of its presentation ‘Up a tree!’. A travelling residence and a meeting from south to north with a Walloon contrabassist, a screen, a Flemish director, a tree, a Brussels filmmaker and a Flemish-Ecuadorian woman who can climb up a tree.

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Discover Heritage Brussels’ new publication on the Sonian Forest

Bruxelles PatrimoinesArcheologists, art historians, engineers, soil experts, botanists, landscape architects… Scientists from diverse fields all studied the Sonian Forest in order to create the 14th edition of the magazine of Heritage Brussels. Their unpublished research allows us to better understand the forest and ensure its continued existence.

The Sonian Forest is unique in several ways. It is one of the few places in North and Middle Belgium that has never known agriculture. Ever since prehistoric times, the area has only seen forests. As such, almost no erosion occurred throughout the centuries. The natural landscape, which came into existence nearly 10,000 years ago, is still intact.

All this and more you can read in the Sonian Forest edition of the magazine of Heritage Brussels.

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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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