South coast of Schouwen-Duiveland
Much loved by walkers, cyclists and flocks of bird-watchers, this gorgeous green strip runs west along the Oosterschelde from the town of Zierikzee to the Kop van Schouwen headland. Don’t miss it.
The Tureluur Plan ‘bird mall’
When the Delta Works were completed, the ‘Tureluur Plan’ (redshank) was introduced to compensate for the loss of a significant tidal area. Some 4,400 hectares were coaxed into recovery and restored as natural areas, along the southern edge of Schouwen-Duiveland. For birds, this is a paradise of mud, water, safe dry areas and masses of shallows and swamps. The next five articles outline the most outstanding parts of the plan.
All around the Plompe tower
This somewhat plump tower, all the more noticeable for its stand-alone status, is truly all that still stands of the village of Koudekerke that was washed away in storms at the end of 16th century. A symbol of the endless struggle with water, the tower houses a powerful collection of the memories and legends of that past. Atop the tower, behold nature’s own story below in the nature reserve of the Koudekerkse Inlaag marshes and over the wide waters of the Oosterschelde.
Schelphoek park, born again
This nature area (named ‘shell corner’) arose from the tragedy of the flood disaster of 1953, when the sea slashed a massive breach in the dike. That was closed by sinking concrete caissons into the gap. One such construction now serves as a lookout post over the park which grew on the extra ring dike and the resulting woods. Those are home now to nightingales, great spotted woodpeckers and owls.
Prunje park is for birdlife
The polder we call ‘De Prunje’ has made a robust comeback from the ravages of the 1953 flood disaster, and is once again a marsh behind the dikes. Its salty, very moist soils are beloved by varied flurries of water fowl and farmland birds – and they in turn by bird-watchers. Those are well provided for, with a lookout tower, observation screens and a ‘bird boulevard’ or mall. You’ll find them on the Delingsdijk, the Inlaagweg and along the bike path taking you to Zierikzee.
The viewing point at Prunjehil
Nature lovers are nicely catered for by the Staatsbosbeheer nature agency and its Prunjehil viewing area. It has three lookout posts with fine views over the Tureluur Plan, the Oosterschelde and the De Prunje park. And – birds don’t get this – there’s a picnic place, so do bring your snacks and drinks.
The wide-open Oosterschelde
A real, natural-size nature area this, with an unparalleled wealth of plants and animals. Crabs, lobsters, place, herring, garfish, sea anemones, miniscule plankton algae and seaweeds live in its waters. On the banks, seals hang out and hundreds of thousands of birds forage impatiently but productively.