LIFE HELVEX – planned actions

During 5 years we have planned quite some actions:

Preparation
• Draw up the planning and establish zero monitoring
• Draw up a plan for water purification (helophytes filter, lamella filter,…) for the fertilized water coming from Steertse Heide to Groote Meer

Purchase
• Purchase of 21 ha (52 acres) of agricultural land to warrant Groote Meer

Restoration actions
Large scale restoration of Annex I habitats, being 2310 - 2330 - 3110 - 3130 - 4010 - 4030 - 7250 – 9190 in the project by:
• Removal of pines
• Cutting sods to restore ‘open sand’ (2310 – 2330)
• Building a purification plant between Steertse Heide and Groote Meer to clean the incoming water from nitrates, phosphates, …
• Cutting sods to restore oligotrophic and mesotrophic stagnant waters (3110 – 3130)
• Cutting sods to restore mosaic of wet and dry heathland and channels in peat grounds (4010 – 4030 – 7150)
• Placing a grazing raster to ensure follow up management
• Starting up nature management with volunteers
• Removal of invasive alien species (Prunus serotina, Quercus rubra and Rhododendron ponticum)to allow a positive development of oak birch forests (9190)
Monitoring the impact of the restorative measures on the present fauna and flora

Communication
• Developing and implementing a range of products to promote the touristic and socio-economic potential of the project and Natura 2000; spreading a paper about the project, publishing articles in press, magazines and on the website, organizing public activities, information meetings,… by offering information alongside walking paths, developing recreational infrastructure such as a watchtower, a look-out platform and making a laymen’s report.
• Maintaining contacts with other LIFE projects by experience exchange, organizing excursions, participating in study days, possible as guest speaker.
• Starting up an ‘After-Life Conservation Plan’ to maintain the quality of the restored Annex I habitats in the future