Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (NL), Oost-Vlaanderen (B)

Borderpark Groot Saeftinghe

photo: Joop van Houdt
Plan phase

The idea for the Borderpark 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.

LOCATIONVerdronken land van Saeftinghe, Province of Zeeland and Province of Oost-VlaanderenCLIENTProvince of ZeelandPERIOD2016-2019COLLABORATIONServicenet Nationale Landschappen en Nationale Parken: Slimmevos.nl, Circular Landscapes, Ecorys, JanRutten.com with cooperation of KU Leuven

Photography: Theo Baart



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 Borderpark 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 Grenspark 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.
Flower and tree dikes in the outer shell
Layer 1: Contrasts and connections
Layer 2: Green blue network
Layer 3: Icons and lines of force
Power line Port Route: The Port Route not only connects Fort Liefkenshoek with Saeftinghe, but is an experience in itself.
Overview of the Park Hart of Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe, in which, among other icon projects, the optimum experience of the trinity nature, agriculture and industry takes place.
Innovation center saline crops in Emmadorp

The complete Area Agenda (in Dutch) can be downloaded via the link below: 

Area Agenda Borderpark Groot Saeftinghe