Triple E Pond area M-L - Ecological restoration of the Pond area M-L through a close participation of the private and public landowners and a tripple E-approach

LIFE08 NAT/B/000036

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Robert DE GRAEFF
Tel: +32 2 234 30 00
Email: robert.degraeff@elo.org

Project description:


The project area of Vijvergebied Midden-Limburg is located in the North-East of Belgium, in the region of Limburg. The area forms part of the Demer river basin and is crossed by two main lowland rivers, the Roosterbeek and Laambeek. These are typical lowland, seepage fed rivers, meandering through a sandy plain. Historically, large parts of the area were drained by a network of ditches and most watercourses were deepened and straightened. From the 19th century on, large heath surfaces were afforested or transformed into meadows or arable land. Furthermore, fish farming activities, already present, were intensified and commercialised, giving rise to large still water surfaces fed by a complicated network of in- and outflow ditches, sluices and artificially fed ponds. The area has by far the highest pond concentration in Belgium.


  • To restore and conserve the following habitats and species of community importance in the Natura 2000 area of ‘Vijvergebied Midden-Limburg’ (‘Pond area M-L’): bittern (Botaurus stellaris); tree frog (Hyla arborea); oligotrophic waters ; oligo- to mesothrophic standing waters; wet and dry heath; and hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities;
  • To secure the ongoing participation of a group of private landowners and establish a close collaboration between all the stakeholders involved in the management of the area;
  • To establish a sustainable basis for the conservation of the targeted species and habitats in the long term by enhancing synergies between ecology, education and the local economy ( the “triple E’-approach”);
  • To enhance public awareness of Natura 2000 on a local, regional and national level;
  • To demonstrate, and further develop, a best practice method in how to reach, motivate and involve private landowners as partners in the restoration, conservation and management of Natura 2000 areas.

  • Results


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds
Habitats - Freshwater


endangered species‚  protected area‚  river‚  public-private partnership‚  restoration measure

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Botaurus stellaris   Hyla arborea   

Target Habitat types

  • 3120 - "Oligotrophic waters containing very few minerals generally on sandy soils of the West Mediterranean, with Isoetes spp."
  • 3130 - Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoëto-Nanojuncetea
  • 4010 - Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix
  • 4030 - European dry heaths

Natura 2000 sites

SCI BE2200031 Valleien van de Laambeek, Zonderikbeek, Slangebeek en Roosterbeek met vijvergebieden.
SPA BE2219312 Vijvercomplex van Midden Limburg



Coordinator European Landowners' Organisation asbl
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description The European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) is a federation of national associations from the 27 EU Member States, which represents the interests of landowners, land managers, rural entrepreneurs and family businesses. The work of ELO focuses on eight main issues of European importance: the environment; sustainable hunting and fishing; agriculture and rural development; forestry; renewable energy; the status of private property and companies; enlargement; and trade.
Partners vzw Ontwikkeling Vijvergebied Midden-Limburg (OVML), Belgium vzw Regionaal Landschap Lage Kempen (RLLK), Belgium vzw Limburgs Landschap (Lila), Belgium Municipality of Hasselt (HAS), Belgium Municipality of Zonhoven (ZON), Belgium Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos (ANB), Belgium


Project reference LIFE08 NAT/B/000036
Duration 01-JAN-2010 to 30-APR -2014
Total budget 2,696,042.00 €
EU contribution 1,348,021.00 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique)


Read more:

Brochure General Progress of LIFE+ Project 3wat3r (123KB)
Leaflet "3watEr: working together by nature" (1.47 MB)
Leaflet "3watEr : une collaboration naturelle" (1.47 MB)
Leaflet "3watEr: natuurlijk samenwerken" (1.45 MB)
Project web site Project's website
Slides Presentation "Getuigenis: 3 revoluties en 6 succesfactoren om e ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version