Heathland near Lommel

Lommel - Flanders - Belgium

Cycling route 115710

Provided by: Groots Genieten

3350 108
35.60 km
627 kcal
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To the south of Lommel, various heathlands stretch out and together form one large natural whole. A selection of the different domains along which this cycle route leads are the gigantic forests of the Hoeverbergen, the private estate of the Hoeverheide and the kattenbosserheide, where cultural-historical elements still lie in the landscape. There were hardly any forests until the end of the 19th century. The forests of Hoeverbergen show the combined strengths of three surrounding municipalities and the Flemish government: more than 4,500 hectares of healthy trees and more than 1,000 hectares of private forest form an immense forest, which has been planted since 1850 on a previously relatively barren agricultural area and drifting sandy plains. At that time, the coniferous forests still served an important economic purpose and served for timber production, which in particular supplied support timber for mine galleries. The coniferous forests of the Hoeverbergen, together with the slag heaps and mining towers, are still the silent witnesses of the rich Limburg mining past. Even today the forests consist mainly of coniferous trees; the Corsican and Scots pine cover 90% of the forest area. Hoeverbergen also borders the Hoeverheide domain, a private estate with an area of 70 hectares. The domain first came into private ownership when it was bought from the municipality of Helchteren in 1860 by Senator L? On Leirens-Eliaert. He had a small castle built in Tuscan style on the estate. To top it all off, he built a few service residences around it and had a park built in the English landscape style. Today, the vegetation on the estate consists mainly of coniferous wood, but is gradually transformed into a mixed forest with natural transitions. In the middle of the area are land dunes and there is also a parabolic dune here. Amongst the trees and shrubs nest the nightjar, the goldcrest and the firecrest. They have chosen a quiet accommodation with a beautiful view, because the castle and the park, with exotic plants including two giant sequoias, are still intact. If you want to enter the domain, you can, if you make an appointment with the owner. A last noteworthy piece of nature where this cycling tour takes you along is the Kattenbosserheide. Here too, mainly Scots pines have been planted, but in the heart of the area, hidden among the trees, is a beautiful heathland. In addition, a historic mill and a German military cemetery can be found in the area. Another special element are the found burial mounds of the Urnfield culture from prehistoric times. Special excavated objects from this area are exhibited in the Museum Ons Erfgoed in Lommel.
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