Border Park Groot-Saeftinghe

photo: Joop van Houdt

The idea for the Border park comes from the nature plans for the environment of the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe and the Port of Antwerp. Those plans, of which the depoldering of the Hedwigepolder is part, left many people not untouched. That is why the perspective has been widened to an area development for all stakeholders.

In 2016, at the start of the joint Interregproject, the authorities and management organizations in this area agreed to combine the implementation of the nature plans with an extra economic and social boost for the region. Together with the regional stakeholders, work has since been done on a new vision for the area. In addition to the large nature reserves, where ebb and flow play a major role, this also includes the adjacent polder landscape, with the dikes, farms and vast fields. The historical creek system of Saeftinghe in the 17th century serves as a reference for the boundary. The Port of Antwerp is located on the southeast side of the area. The port installations and the Doel nuclear power plant are visible from afar.

The identity of the area is strongly determined by the interaction between nature, agriculture and port. This provides dynamics and exciting contrasts in the landscape. This is seen as a distinctive quality in the positioning of the Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe. That is why nature, agriculture and port organizations also work closely together in the further development of the area.

The complete report (in Dutch) can be downloaded here:Gebiedsagenda Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe 


LOCATIONVerdronken land van SaeftingheProvincie ZeelandProvincie Oost-Vlaanderen, BelgiëCLIENTProvincie ZeelandCATEGORYSpatial conceptPERIOD2016-2019STATUSPlan phaseCOLLABORATIONSlimmeVosCircular LandscapesEcorysJanRuttenKU Leuven

Power line Port Route:The Port Route not only connects Fort Liefkenshoek with Saeftinghe, but is an experience in itself.

Flower and tree dikes in the outer shellHet dijkenpatroon vertelt het verhaal van het landschap en heeft grote ecologische potenties.De dijken worden uitgebouwd tot een robuuste ecologische structuur en een samenhangend ‘zwerfnetwerk’door het poldergebied. Het beheer kan door agrariërs worden uitgevoerd.











Saefthinge nature center - In the nature center outside the dykes, the landscape is shaped by the dynamics of ebb and flow. The creeks, swallows and salt marshes provide unique natural values and spectacular nature experiences.


The current landscape consists of different layers, namely that of the natural subsurface, the umbrella networks and human land use, all of which enter into a different relationship with the trinity: Agriculture, nature and industry. The ambition for the Groot Saeftinghe Border Park is to bring more balance in the play of forces between these three in the future.

In collaboration with regional stakeholders and governments, we have come to the first part of the cross-border Area Agenda. In this, maps and visualisations support the foundation of identity, positioning and the spatial concept as a guideline for the development of the Border Park Groot Saeftinghe.



Bird’s eye view shows the intended reception gates of the area.With, among other things, Antwerp as a water gate.The main axes are the development axes for recreation and entrepreneurs.


THe 3 layers

Click on the maps to enlarge.

Layer 1: Contrasts and connections

Layer 2: Green blue network

Layer 3: Icons and lines of force



Overview of the Park Hart of Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe,in which, among other icon projects, the optimum experience of the trinitynature, agriculture and industry takes place.


Innovation center salina crops in EmmadorpThe Mariahoeve can become an international innovation center for Salina crops,with high quality reception and experience options.There are also possibilities for experiments with accretion polders of aquaculturesthat are interesting for food production as well as for nature and water management.