Criss-cross it goes, this route, through the ‘Verdronken Zwarte Polder’ (drowned black polder), by Nieuwvliet. Polders, sea, beach, dunes, nature reserve. Check, check, double check. The kaleidoscopic walk runs through the Zeeland-Flanders coastal area, a birdwatcher’s delight. Nieuwvliet has been surrounded by polders for, truly, centuries, making the ‘Zwarte Gat’ inlet disappear into the black hole that is memory. This drowned polder is the last relic of that inlet, and has masses of muddy walkies in mud flats and salt marshes – though there is a path made of decking, for mud-free feet. The sea is ever in charge, at high tide, that is. Plants here err on the salty side, sea aster and glasswort, and the like. Up on high, dunes. And higher still: birdsong, from the bushes right by the path.