Nature

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There are many beautiful bicycle routes nearby Villa Emma. The Schelde valley, Leie river, and the parks around Gent also make for excellent bicycle and walking routes.

A major landmark in the area is the Damvallei lake, an artificial pond that was created by sand extraction for the construction of the E17 motorway.

The local department of “Natuurpunt” landscaped the bank cliffs and created a muddy shoreline, in which reed and marsh vegetation has developed.  This new stretch of nature attracted dragonflies, frogs and salamanders. It has become an ideal spawning ground for larger fish and waterbirds. During the winter months, the waters harbour pochard, tufted duck and some pintail couples.

The volunteers of “Natuurpunt” set up floating brood islands on the lake which attract common tern. The common tern only rarely gets to brood in Flanders, but “de Damvallei” has become a true haven for its kind. After brooding season, Cormorants and Grebes utilize the rafts for a lookout as well as to rest. During the months of June and July, a true spectacle can be seen when the common tern chicks are raised and fed small fish gathered by the parents while diving nearby peat pits.

A number of walking routes are available. Upon request, a guided nature tour can be arranged.

Villa Emma, Waterdreef 13, 9040 Sint-Amandsberg (Gent), Belgi´┐Ż, Stratenplan , Tel.: 092/59 21 95, info@villa-emma.be