Slikken van Flakkee
|Location||:||Goeree-Overflakkee – between Goedereede and Herkingen.|
|Area||:||± 1500 hectares|
Until 1971, Slikken van Flakkee consisted of a large mudflat and salt marsh area that was influenced by the tides. After the closure of the Grevelingen in 1971, Slikken van Flakkee permanently became dry land. Rye and grasses were planted in part of the mudflats.
Slikken van Flakkee is composed of three bordering areas:
(area ± 600 hectares)
A decision was taken to allow nature free reign in this area. After 35 years, the area has transformed into a natural old-growth forest, where trees and bushes dominate the landscape.
The only walking trail open is the long-distance (LAW) trail that crosses the area. North Slikken has a rich population of songbirds, such as the nightingale, the golden oriole, the willow warbler and the song thrush.
(area ± 250 hectares)
The middle area of Slikken van Flakkee has a strong human influence. A large volume of sand from Lake Grevelingen was transported here at the end of the 1960s. This sand originated from a channel excavated for the transport of caissons. These were built in Bommende Harbour for the closure of the Brouwers Dam. The resulting sand deposit was stored for a long time to be used for the road construction in the adjacent polder area. Most of the sand has now been removed.
A large lagoon with shallow areas was dug out, and various shorebirds such as avocets and kentish plovers have settled here. The old inlet system was restored, so that the salt water from Lake Grevelingen can penetrate deep into the area. It was decided to have cows graze on the island, and they are here from mid-May to late October. This creates a half-open landscape. This part of the mudflats is accessible.
Several walking trails are present (see the Recreation/Walking section). Several bird-watching points allow visitors to view the area’s birds.
(area ± 650 hectares)
The southern part of the mudflats was turned into a pasture area. Since the early 1980s, a herd of Heck cows and Fjord horses have helped keep it this way, and the animals graze here year round.
In the winter, when few plants are available for food, the animals are given extra feed. A cattle pen was constructed for checks and periodic care of the animals. Several deep wells were dug for drinking water.
The landscape features grasses and herbs, with grass of Parnassus, centaury and several species of orchids being the most prominent. Salt-loving glasswort and sea blite grow in areas where a lot of wind flushes the mudflats with salt water from Lake Grevelingen. These plants provide for a beautiful autumn landscape with predominately red-coloured plants, interwoven with the salt-loving sea aster and its lavender blooms.
Birds such as lapwings, oystercatchers and redshanks live in this area. In the winter months, the southern mudflats are a stopping place for thousands of wild geese that land here to rest and search for food. The land that was taken into use after Lake Grevelingen was closed off has gradually been converted back into grassland and added to the nature reserve. Various guided excursions are available in the summer months.