Woods of Brabant
Belgium, Atlantic Forest
Among the most beautiful and oldest forests in Belgium, the ‘Brabantse Wouden’ (Woods of Brabant) are characterised by more than 10,000 hectares of Atlantic Forest, abundant in oak and beech trees, but also in maples and pines. The larger forest areas of Meerdaal, Halle and Sonian forest alternate with smaller forest patches and open fields and larger and smaller cities, creating a mosaic in the landscape.
The forests are partly under strict protection, while other sections are managed for multiple purposes. In the managed areas, small-scale close-to-nature management is the rule, but also patches with more intensive management (mostly conversion of conifer to broadleaved forest) are present. The management aims to ensure that the woods retain their beauty, ecological functionality and wood production capacity in times of climate change. In order to do so, management practices are adapting to account for more frequent windstorms, drought, pests, and diseases.