In 2015, a new habitat for the wall lizard and slow worm was brought into use at the Belvédèreberg, a hill in the city of Maastricht. The habitat is part of a larger set of nature compensation measures taken in connection with the construction of the new infrastructure project ‘Noorderbrugtracé’. With the construction of a large green framework with new corridors, the ecological structure of the Belvédère district is improved and enlarged. As a result of the Noorderbrug bridge new exit ramp, a park will be created on the northern side of the city centre. The new park will feature the old fortifications (Lage Fronten), and the old link to the Hoge Fronten fortifications will also be restored. Both people and animals can use the canal that will link these old fortifications. Throughout the Belvédère district, numerous provisions have been made for the animals living in the area. Rubble ridges were created for the wall lizard, for example, and dead hedges for the slow worm, pools for the natterjack toad, plus underpasses and tunnels for lizards, slow worms and badgers. For the bats a special bat house is built in the Lage Fronten park. At the locations where new infrastructure will be constructed, wall lizards and slow worms are captured and then moved to the newly created habitats. Up till now, around 650 slow worms and 120 wall lizards have thus been brought to the Belvédèreberg.
Pools are a characteristic part of the landscape around the city of Eindhoven. There are more than 150 of these small landscape elements in the green areas around the city and in the river valleys of the Tongelreep and the Dommel. The pools are the habitat of marsh and aquatic plants, as well as of many species of (water) insects, such as the dragonfly. They are also watering places for birds and mammals. But the main ecological significance of this small landscape element is that it is the spawning ground of many amphibians: frogs, toads and salamanders. To increase awareness among children for their green environment, Eindhoven municipality has started a pool adoption programme. In this programme, nature education and creation go hand in hand with the conservation and management of the pools. Schools actively engage their students in nature on days out to ‘their’ adopted pool. The children do minor maintenance in the autumn, such as dredging, cutting and pruning; and in the spring, they monitor the burgeoning aquatic life.
The woods Kralingse Bos, with the lake Kralingse Plas in it, is one of the largest green recreational areas of Rotterdam. Until 2010, the lake’s water regularly failed to meet the European standards for bathing water. It was not only slightly contaminated with lead from the factories that were located there until the beginning of the last century, there were also too many nutrients in the water. These nutrients encourage algae growth and thus result in a limited and uniform stock. The fish ladder is part of a comprehensive programme of measures to improve the lake’s water quality. In addition to adjustments to the banks, the lake was partially dredged and a dephosphatation installation was placed, as well as a pumping station that fish can pass through. The fish ladder between the Kralingse Plas and the higher water bodies is also part of this programme. This ladder allows a natural migration to a higher spawning ground in the so-called Wolvenvallei (Wolf Valley). To bridge the 120-centimetre difference in height, a series of 10-centimetre waterfalls were created. The vegetation on the banks ensures that the fish are sheltered during their migration. Everybody wins: the fish now have a better habitat and the residents of Rotterdam can go and have a swim.
-ROTTERDAM (NL) 2010
-HOOGHEEMRAADSCHAP VAN SCHIELAND EN DE KRIMPENERWAARD, GEMEENTE (MUNICIPALITY OF) ROTTERDAM