The treasure of biodiversity


Hobokense Polder. Park your car at the information board 150 m from the train station along the ‘Schroeilaan’ in Hoboken, Belgium. (Free)

The Place

Some six kilometres from the Antwerp cathedral you find the largest nature reserve of the town, enclosed by the Scheldt, the dwellings of Hoboken and the old port industry: 170 ha of swamps, polders, reed, grasslands and willow trees. The sand in the underground comes from the construction of the Antwerp ring road and the Kennedy tunnel nearby. Follow the red walk (3,5 km) along ‘Broekskot’ and ‘Rallegat’, or the somewhat longer green walk (7,5 km) along the riverbank of the Scheldt.

The Tip

This is an exceptional place of biodiversity in town. Look for at least one remarkable mammal, bird, plant, amphibian and insect. There is plenty of choice. It’s the habitat of foxes, deer and European polecats. You’ll see salamanders, brown and green frogs. You find a variety of more than 500 different plants. In spring you even see orchids. In the air you spot orioles, blue dragonflies and more than 200 kinds of moths. There are more than 300 varieties of mushrooms. There is even a fly that has never been seen elsewhere in the world. So it has been named after this spot: the Pseudonapomyza Hobokensis.

Pillars of happiness

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Look out for a sixth exceptional specimen in this treasure of biodiversity. Which human being has a quite exceptional look? Maybe you dare to tell him. Why wouldn’t you invite him or her to have a drink in the tavern ‘De Schorren’? There you can borrow a small backpack with activities for the whole family.