The restoration plan at Open Lab 5 in Belgium commenced last November. Read more.
The Natural Reserve Gérard & Francis Paquay (Quatre-Vents) is located upstream of the Amblève river catchment in Belgium. The Haute Ardennes were characterized by large areas of moors, which have almost completely disappeared following the widespread drainage of soils for planting spruce plantations.
Back in 2021, the Amblève River faced severe flooding. The post-flood analysis found that drainage in upstream land areas in the region amplified the peak discharges downstream. Therefore, restoring the site will mitigate future flood and drought risks in the region, apart from fostering carbon sequestration within the soil and vegetation.
Integral to this work is our partner on the field, Natagora, landowner of the majority of the land undergoing restoration. It is an organization which aims to protect the remaining nature in Belgium through buying and managing land, protecting species and running awareness programs for the public. Previously Natagora has initiated restoration measures on-site, including the removal of sections of spruce forest as part of the transformative LIFE Nardus project.
A critical milestone in this restoration journey was the elevation of the water table, achieved through the strategic installation of dams and obstacles to block the drainage channels. Guided and supervised by Natagora, our contractor on the site (Gessofor S.A.) was working for 2 weeks constructing the dams on the site. The results are successful and we are looking forward to see how the ecosystem and the GHG emissions changes during this year.