Objectives of LIFE HELVEX

Besides various nature restoration measures, the LIFE project will work at increasing the socio-economic potential of the area.

- Large-scale restoration of 56 ha (138 acre) of inland dune (open grassland with Corynephorus and Agrostis species on inland dunes) (2330) in a mosaic with psammophile heathlands with Calluna and Genista species (2310)

- Restoration of 30 ha (74 acre) low mineral oligotrophic waters of the Atlantic sand planes (3110) and oligotrophic to mesotrophic waters (3130)

- Restoration of 33 ha (82 acre) in mosaic of North Atlantic humid heath with Erica Tetralix (4010) – gorges in peaty soil (7150)

- Restoration of 57 ha (141 acre) in mosaic of dry European heathland (4030) and psammophile heathland with Calluna and Genista (2310), alternated with North Atlantic dry heathland (4010)

- Removal of invasive alien species such as (American) black cherry, American oak and rhododendron on an area of 60 ha (148 acre) to obtain qualitative acid loving oak woods (9190) on Flemish side and to prevent the restored habitats from becoming overgrown with invasive alien species.

- Furthermore, the restoration of the above mentioned habitats will increase in birds listed in the Birds Directive such as European nightjar (Caprimulgus Europeaus), woodlark (Lullula arborea), black-necked grebe(Podiceps nigricollis), little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) and honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). It will also benefit species such as smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) and natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) besides other nationally endangered species (butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, moths,…).

- Increase the socio-economic potential of the area by:
° informing visitors, neighbours, administrators,… through website and social media, through flyers about the project and Natura 2000, through the media,…
° building a watchtower and look-outplatform, information panels in the project area with explanation about the project,
° involving volunteers in conservation.