Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
Back to overview measures

Paddebeek wetland - small scale tidal wetland restoration in the freshwater zone of the Sea Scheldt (Zeeschelde)

Crux of the matter

Lessons can be learned from the way the Paddebeek is restored. A positive result came from the life willow wickers, used to construct the terraces. As a consequence, willow shrubs established very quickly, which accelerated vegetation succession. In addition, there was no need to use stone rubble to protect the new dike, except for the edges. A negative part of the restoration project was however that a greater part of the old dike remained in place, hindering proper drainage, creek formation and colonisation. To allow some drainage several stones should be removed.
A detailed evaluation of the monitoring methods is available. For future projects it is recommended to start with the monitoring plan already in the planning phase with clear cost estimation and clear agreements on execution and reporting; make a clear distinction between “site success monitoring” and “impact verification monitoring”; make a photographic survey on a yearly basis to improve interpretation of collected data; optimise the comparability of monitoring results of zoobenthos with that of other countries; monitoring of birds and fishes needs to be done from the beginning following fixed protocol; experimental research is needed to monitor benthic primary production; and investigate the monitoring of floristic quality of marsh vegetation.
An important knowledge gap exists on the identification of factors that can explain all changes in vegetation development. The inundation frequency cannot be the only factor. Also changes in elevation should be investigated better and the impact of local estuarine characteristics, such as sediment balance and wave impact should be taken into account better.
In general, the restoration of the Paddebeek was a success to create a tidal wetland in the freshwater zone of the Sea Scheldt (Zeeschelde), but some aspects could be done even better when executing a new wetland restoration project.

Back to top

Important to know

Reports / Measures / Tools

Report: Management measures analysis and comparison