Brabant Forests

Brabant Forests as Circular Wood Platform (Bwchp)

Between the Haller Forest, the Sonian Forest and the Meerdaal Forest, you will find robust forests, meandering rivers and a spectacular vast arable plateau with deeply incised hollow roads. Together they account for more than 100 km² of valuable nature in a beautiful landscape of 330 km²: a majestic National Park in the making. 

The Flemish Coalition Agreement 2019-2024 states that four national parks are to be added in Flanders by 2023. After pre-selection, five candidates submitted a dossier for that purpose: Bosland, Hoge Kempen, Scheldt Valley, Taxandria and Brabantse Wouden. A national park is unique in the sense that its nature and heritage values have an international appeal and that the protection, management, experience and authenticity of the place go together perfectly.

To win the title 'National Park', the province of Flemish Brabant, the Agency for Nature and Forests, the Friends of Heverleebos and Meerdaalwoud and 12 municipalities submitted a master plan that demonstrates why and how the Brabant Woods deserve the title. The plan consists of five pillars: nature&climate, space&environment, tourism&experience, landscape&heritage and sustainable agriculture. The first four pillars are mandatory to submit, the fifth pillar was co-developed because family land farming contributes strongly to the qualities of the area and there is a great interaction with the other four pillars.

At the end of 2023, it will be known which nature reserve will win the title of National Park.

As part of a VLAIO project, it is being investigated how, in this National Park, the forest functions of biodiversity and experience can be sustainably combined with the development of a circular local wood platform. This upscaling can be done by deploying locally produced wood - from a broad climate-robust range of tree species - high up in the value chain. This requires logistical innovation and adjustments in forest management, timber sales and processing and communication.


Partners Openhuis, Laboratory for Inhabiting Ecologies, Vrienden van Heverleebos en Meerdaalwoud, Caluwaerts, houtzagerij Jadimex, houtbewerking en houthandel Ateliercirculer en Sonianwoodcoop, UGent, labo voor houttechnologie Levuur, participatie en stakeholder