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

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

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

Effectiveness according to development targets of measure

Step 1: Definition of development target
The creation of new ecological valuable intertidal wetlands can contribute to estuarine restoration as it enables habitat development and biodiversity. Success factors are related to the improvement of estuarine processes (such as sedimentation-erosion, creek formation and soil development).

Step 2: Degree of target achievement
In general, the restoration of the Paddebeek was a success to create a tidal wetland in the freshwater zone of the Sea Scheldt (Zeeschelde). By the inland shifting of the dike a small tidal area could develop in an area of the river Scheldt where mudflats and marshes are scarce. The constructed terraces were rapidly colonized by estuarine vegetation species: pioneer communities of Vaucheria (Vaucheria sp.), Water speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica), Cursed buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus), etc., followed by helofytes like Alkali Bulrush (scirpus maritimus), Common Reed (Phragmites australis), Common Bulrush (Typha latifolia) en Reed Sweet Grass (Glyceria maxima).
Because of the construction of terraces with willow wicker, stone rubble was not necessary to protect the new dike. Unfortunately the 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. The terraces were constructed with life willow wicker. As a consequence, willow shrubs established very quickly, which accelerated vegetation succession.
The site has limited habitat functions for birds. Nevertheless, it is valuable for the connectivity of the tidal wetlands in this part of the Sea Scheldt (Zeeschelde).

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Report: Management measures analysis and comparison