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Field Research Centre

Outreach and Education

Outreach and Education

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It is possible to organize an educational excursion to the National Park or its environment. You can compile your own programme, were we only arrange for the overnights (if your intend to stay multiple days) or you can inform us and we can compile a tailor-made programme for you. We collaborate closely with the Rangers of the National Park, and will use their expertise where possible.

All excursions in the National Park need to be approved by ANB. We normally arrange for the permit. In case you wish to perform some practical exercises, such as vegetation records, we need to ask for a special permit. Please inform us in time.

Below are some impressions of past excursions.

During this yearly excursion in collaboration with the Free University Brussels (ULB), our students get an overall introduction on the creation of the NPHK, its nature management, its typical landscape, vegetation and examples of typical fauna and flora.

In the afternoon, they map a formal coppice and non-copice oak site to relate this later to the long-term effects it (might) have on eg. biomass.

Decomposition and nutrient cycling in heathland

During this two-day practical exercise on decomposition and nutrient cycling in heathlands, we illustrate how grass invasion influence ecosystem functioning. The study plot is in Mechelse Heide. The students measure and analyze plant communities, decomposition rates, microbial activity, organic matter properties, and invertebrate communities. Data are synthesized and statistically analyzed for the whole group at the end of the two days.

During this excursion, students go in the field in the National Park to collect moss samples in different environments (bare soil, concrete walls, forest understorey, grassland, mine heaps, bogs...). Once back at the field research centre, they determine their samples down to the species level, with the help of steromicroscope. They are guided by a moss expert (Jan Verstraeten, Limburgse Bryologische Werkgroep) during the whole day.

During this excursion, students will compare the mushroom flora of pine forests in slag heaps and surrounding forest soil. Identification is done on site (for the easy species) or once back at the field research centre, with the help of microscope. Data are synthesized and statistically analyzed at the end of the excursion.