Rows of posts in Belse forests to protect sheep (Yellow)

Rows of posts suddenly appeared in recent days on both Bels Broek and Belse Heide (photo). © Marc Verachtert

Yellow

Walkers and cyclists in the Belse forests in Geel-Bel have discovered in recent days that long rows of posts have been set over great distances. These indicate the grazing areas for the sheep of Natuurpunt.

In recent days, quite a few worried voices have been heard on social media about the many poles that appear at regular intervals in the nature reserves of Geel-Bel. Some felt that they were marring nature, others feared that hikers would be permanently denied access to the areas. But the posts must ensure that sheep herds can graze undisturbed in the Bels Broek and Heide areas, says Natuurpunt Geel-Meerhout.

“There will be four grazing blocks, so that a small group of sheep can be placed alternately in another block,” explains Marc Verachtert of Natuurpunt. “We are installing gates in the sheep grid to bring the sheep in and out, as well as small gates for the walkers.”

It is not the first time that Natuurpunt has released sheep in this area for grazing assignments. “We tried it once a few years ago with a flock of sheep within a movable flexi grid. Unfortunately, some sheep were attacked by stray dogs and we therefore stopped the grazing project. Now there will be a fixed grid, but it remains important to keep dogs on a leash.” (ho)

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