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Chemin forestier en Belgique

Preserving biodiversity in Wallonia, one reserve at a time


Close to the fortress of Charlemont near Givet, along the French border at the southern edge of the Walloon region, the Baquet nature reserve is the fruit of meticulous, long-term work of the Belgian Natagora association. This old forest and its local biotopes, stretching close to 140 hectares - soon to be 200 -, are a naturalist’s dream come true that Klorane Botanical Foundation is helping to expand and preserve.


A localized territory for long-term efficiency

Biodiversity protected over the long term

arbre en hiver

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The Baquet reserve is home to species such as stands of hundred-year-old oaks, massifs of hawthorn, succisa pratensis or devil’s bits, blue-winged grasshoppers, black storks, green woodpeckers and snakes native to Wallonia that form an invaluable ecosystem.

Following the association’s initial purchase of 68 hectares, the area was officially designated a nature reserve in 2017. It has been protected since then thanks to the association’s assiduous resolve, which doggedly fought off any attempt at intensive farming and development for decades.

This regional biodiversity hot spot has been gradually expanded, hectare by hectare, to incorporate a total of 200ha, of which a large proportion has been classified a Natura 2000 site. Through successive acquisitions, Natagora ensures long-term conservation so that it can implement management, restoration and preservation programmes for these many species.

A reserve requires work!

The association’s work is not limited to buying up land to be incorporated into the reserve! Whereas the main goal is to establish a safe haven for the local biodiversity where it can thrive free of any interference, a helping hand never hurts.

New glades have thus been regularly cleared in the forests to enable sunlight to enter and bring to life the seed banks buried in the soil. Volunteer workers clear these glades every year to preserve the ecosystem’s variety and functions. Hedges are planted in the meadows with permanent rows positioned to serve as shelters for migrating birds and small mammals.

Eight hectares of moors and wet meadows have also been restored in dense thickets. Thanks to the creation of shelters for snakes and amphibians, the Great Crested Newt has returned, drawn by the new network of wetlands and ponds.

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rivière foret


These painstaking efforts and natural dynamics are already bearing fruit: heather and succisa can be found everywhere in the restored glades, and the common spotted orchid is making a natural comeback. Grass snakes and several forest butterfly species have taken up residence while some extremely rare plants of the Molinion alliance (the most sensitive and remarkable plant community living in the Fagne wet meadows) are beginning to reappear.

Un homme débroussaille une haie

The reserve has also carved out a place in local life, bringing together a team of volunteers who work at its restoration, inventory operations and building awareness. Striking the right balance between preservation and dedication, the association manages to build support far beyond the circle of nature lovers and succeeds in making biodiversity an issue of wider concern.

Key figures:
200 protected ha
in the heart of a biodiversity reserve


« Safeguarding biodiversity is a collective commitment. We choose our partners with a great deal of attention and care; they must share similar values, the same ethics and a long-term commitment... Each partnership represents a chance to save Nature.»



Our partner

Natagora - Logo

Since 2003 Natagora has been striving to curb the erosion of biodiversity in Wallonia and Brussels by buying up land to create and protect nature reserves in perpetuity. The association also runs a series of courses as well as educational and awareness-building activities, and ensures that its missions are concerted efforts by coordinating teams of professionals, volunteers and partners.


credits : Jean Dealcre