The Flemish Minister of the Environment, Nature and Agriculture (Omgeving, Nature en Landbouw) Joke Schauvliege has approved the development plan for Dauteweyers in Diepenbeek. The Vlaamse Landmaatschappij is hereby awarded the task of designing the nature area in such a way that the threatened tree frog obtains the optimal conditions for survival and breeding. The area will also be reorganised for recreational activities. This project forms part of Green4Grey and therefore obtains financial support from Europa via Life+. Also the municipality of Diepenbeek, the province of Limburg and Naturepunt vzw are contributing to the costs of this land development plan.
New development to ensure the tree frog survives
With the Dauteweyers land development plan, the VLM wish to renovate the environment around the ponds in Dauteweyers in an ecological and hydrological manner in order to protect the tree frog, a small bright green frog that is in the category the most threatened species in Flanders. To this end, the banks of the ponds will be made with a slight slope and the trees on the banks removed. This will enable the frogs to get more sunlight. Some pools will also be constructed in the Ganzebroek, to enable the tree frogs to disperse more widely towards the Demer and the adjacent nature area Dorpsbeemden. Subsidies are available for making pools and green areas.
For the tree frogs to survive it is important that the ponds are drained every so often. This is because in spring fish hunt young tree frogs. By draining ponds we can prevent this. Currently it is being studied what is the best manner of draining and refilling the ponds with water.
Gateway “De Wijers”
In future, the Demerstrand will be the gateway of “De Wijers”, the land of 1001 ponds. Together with the area Dauteweyers and Dorpsbeemden, this area will belong to the new walking zone of De Wijers. Heidestraat will be the location to enjoy the ponds and a number of benches where people can sit and enjoy the location with its view of the ponds, picnic benches and a duckboard over the pond. In this way the new development will increase they enjoyment of the recreationists.