Visit of the former metal ore mining sites of Plombières, La Calamine and Prayon
The old mine sites house a natural reserve, characterized by the presence of calamine grasslands. Growing there is a special fauna and flora linked to the concentration of zinc and other heavy metals in the substratum. The range of this type of biotope is very limited in Europe, so that some species are endemic. The calamine pansy is the most representative. Two signposted walks leave from the Town Hall and invite you to discover the area. The walk to the mine site shows its history and allows you to experience the natural reserve. You can choose between two different routes. The Natagora route is orientated towards nature and has two branches. The « Boffereth Walk », signposted from the Plombières church gives a third opportunity to discover the village and its surroundings.
Visit to/hiking tour in the National Park “Hoge Kempen” where Hasselt University is setting up a Field Research Centre.
The Hoge Kempen National Park in a nutshell
The Hoge Kempen National Park covers more than 5000 ha and is the largest woodland and nature reserve in Flanders. Extensive pine woods alternate with purple flowering heathland. Large lakes were left behind where sand and gravel were extracted. The highest ‘peaks’, 100 meters high, offer magnificent views.
It is home to many rare and exceptional animals. Encountering a roe is not uncommon and butterflies like the swallowtail butterfly brighten up the summer. Special inhabitants are the slippery snake, the antlion and the European beewolf. Large stones and small boulders attest to the last ice age and lend to a magical feeling.
The Hoge Kempen National Park welcomes people with a ‘heart for nature’.
Hasselt University has signed an agreement with RLKM (Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland) to establish a Field Research Centre situated in the National Park Hoge Kempen to perform research regarding biodiversity-related issues.
The main objectives of the Field Research Centre are threefold,
- Enable international research to benefit and increase the knowledge of “biodiversity”, whether directly biology-related, geography, environmental law, geology, landscape ecology and development, environmental management,…
- Enable and facilitate the exchange of expertise and experience regarding biodiversity, nature conservation and management
- Provide and offer modules for student excursions and training for higher education in several disciplines
In the near future the Field Research Centre would like to offer accommodation for students and researchers, e.g. laboratory space, office space and sleeping facilities. We strive to construct a state of the art ecologically controlled room infrastructure and install one or two ecosystem measuring stations in the National Park.