Het Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe


The “Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe” (verdronken=”drowned”) is a tides territory at the eastside… of “Zeeuws-Vlaanderen” at the border with Belgium. a few kilometer downriver from Antwerp. About 70% of the surface is filled with salt marsh plants. The rest are sand flats, swallows and channels. Nowhere else in western Europe you can see, on such large scale, and experience… how the delta territory is arise and has been modeled from the elements salt marsh, swallow and sand. Because the “Land van Saeftinghe” falls under… nature protection, but also because the tides are very dangerous… it is not allowed to visit the territory on your own occasion. An exception on this is the freely accessible part around the old waterway… straight ahead of the visitors centre. It fits 15% of the total territory. In order to experience this, we start walking with a group… The freely accessible part is a,n ideal manner for young and old… to get an idea of the territory, without a long and heavy journey. Because an constructed path with plank bridges… we can hold on our neat clothing. Although it is a good idea to wear old shoes or boots. The route can be obtained by the visitors centre and amounts to approx. 2 km Do you really want an unique walk, through deep channels and make… acquaintance with the virginity of the territory, you should make an excursion. naturally under leadership of an experienced guide. A team of more than 30 Saeftinghe guides… walk annually with around 11,000 visitors in the salt marshes. During the walk they tell the participants about plants, birds and geology. You can see: the White mullet has a sort of splitted mouth. And you will see a double track next to each other. They have eaten over there. The shelducks… What ducks always do… They move their mouth like this. So you know it is a mountain duck. Every tide, that is 2 x per 24 hours, floods the brackish water… a large part of the territory. The flora is unique and is adapted to these circumstances. For thousands of birds is Saeftinghe a territory of international interest. Not only as breeding place, but also as an wintering- and rest territory. This is also about history. Because this land says something… how other land should look like… centuries ago… And not just over here, but big parts of North-West Europe. And that says someting how this landship is actually formed. Because Saeftinghe is situated far of the north Sea, the decline or tide difference is large. The tide water is, because of the decreasing depth and narrowing of the bed, pushed up. Until a certain point however, for yet further river upward this difference… decreases through friction, resistance and a smaller water volume. Saeftinghe has an, for the Netherlands, very… great decline of 4.5 meter, the largest of whole the Netherlands! To comparison: the tide difference in Vlissingen and Antwerp is 3.60 meter… That is a bacterium. It makes something. It produces someting… And what it is producing, makes a thin layer on the water surface. When the sun is shining on it for a while… it will discolor till rust brown. This indicates iron wich is rusting. By springtide, that always approximately 2 days after full and new moon falls… is the average difference in Saeftinghe even 5.3 meter. and by slack water as the attraction of sun and moon work against each other… 3.6 meter. Even within the territory there is a difference: At the east side, the water level is 5 cm higher than at the west side. Through the strong tide movement, in mostly narrow stream channels… a very powerful tide stream is formed in Saeftinghe. By tide rises the water 1 until 2 meters per hour and results in stream speeds of… 1 until 4 meters per sec! Meanwhile Saeftinge raised till a high salt marsh. that only by a high springtide complete is flooded. And it has the form of a kitchen spoon. a spoon. That’s why it’s called “spoonleaf”. It was a very important plant long time ago. It saved lives. Former… Ships sailed to countries far away. They started with 30 people and came back with 20 or less. because… many died cause of shed belly. vitamin C flaw. From Amsterdam they sailed to Texel… to load clean drinkwater and wait for the right wind to sail. Cause in Amsterdam they did’nt have clean drinkwater. At Texel this plant was growing, and by accident, they discovered it. The ones who ate it stayed alive… and many others had shed belly. Current location From the bank till de Schelde… at that radarpost… wich is placed on this side of de Schelde… is 6 km. The last sheep shepherd… made a track, you stil see a pole over there. The Radar tower is placed near a place called “Rilland-Bath”. There you have the so called “Nauw van Bath”. Ships have to make a very sharp turn… of approx. 90 degrees. and the channel is quite narrow… So if 2 ships cross each other… They must watch each other very carefully to avoid a collision. If you leave via South-Beveland Zeeland, and direction North-Brabant rides is Bath … the last barren of Zeeland. The “Nauw of Bath” forms regularly the theatre of ship collisions . The waterway thanks its name on the situation; it is there extremely careful to manoeuvre. The town Bath and the Drowned Land of Saeftinhge .. has crawled many times through the eye of the needle. The drowned land of Saeftinghe got the protective status of… state nature reservation in 1974 and since 1995 becomes it recognized as… an international important “Wetland”. The management became entrusted at the foundation “Het Zeeuwse Landschap”.. and since then there is thought how the nature of that unique… territory is to be safe and promote. The White mullet fish can.. survive here… but many other vis kinds can’t. Before the last Worl War, people… fished here. for their own use.The That water started to melt and as a result the water level increased… if this is combined with a storm… there is a change…
and probably this also happened… that with high amouts of water it carried als very much sludge and… wich covered the plants with a small layer of sludge. and when the total material is closed from oxygen…125 00:10:24:08 00:10:26:08 it can not digest any further… en when it is on pressure…
Peat develops. It presents… The surface where we stand on… the water… that carries sludge… wich contains sand and clay. and one time it is more clay… the other time more sand… but we imagine that this is a layer of clay. but because of the story, you watched out for it… In the course of the years there are more than 200 different bird kinds observed… The flora is completely adapted to the brackish water. In total you can find approximately 40 different plant kinds. Its name thanks this area at the barren Saeftinghe that… heavily got to endure during a flood in 1570, “the Allerheiligenvloed” and… definitely is drowned when Dutch soldiers during the eighty-year- War destroyed… the remained dikes in order to stop the advance of the Spaniards. Saeftinghe is rich with birds. There brood thousand coast birds, as silver gulls, black headed… gulls, common terns and oystercatchers. The reed fields are important hatch area for Red List kinds… as a bearded reed ling, blue throat, sedge warbler and marsh harrier. In the late summer gather sometimes well more than 100 marsh harriers… from the delta territory in Saeftinghe. In the course of the Autumn the most of them flies to the South. Saeftinghe is for much birds of passage and wintering birds an… interesting plaster place. Of the geese is the grey lag goose the most numerous. Of this be present at least 50,000 specimens in the territory. Furthermore are the number widgeons… shelducks, pintails and spoonbills of international meaning. Over here it’s high enough, even a dandelion could grow. dus zo heel zout is het hier niet meer. Not only many visitors are fascinated by this area, but … even strip figures appears well from the appearance of… the album “het verdronken land” by Suske and Wiske. Translation: Language Nederland 2015

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