Landscape & Nature

Beaches, countryside, dikes, inlayers, marshes, acres, woods....

In early days, big parts of Zeeland were isolated. You could only reach the island with a boat. After the construction of several dams, barrages , bridges and tunnels all the islands became attached to the mainland. But..... Noord-Beveland is still fully surrounded by water!

Banjaar: a beautiful sandy North Sea beach
Banjaar: a beautiful sandy North Sea beach

Gold coloured sandbeaches...

In Zeeland the coast is never far away, because there is almost 650 kilometres of coastline by the sea and inlets. The coast of Zeeland is unspoilt and the beaches differ in every area. They have been for years the cleanest of Europe.
There are about 70 kilometres of clean golden sandy beaches, water sport beaches, family beaches. Also little cosy beaches, who disappear when the flood comes. Most beaches guarantee you peace and quiet, even in the middle of summer!.
Relax while searching for shells. The most beautiful are being found at "De Kaloot"(near Borsele). You even might find shark-teeth or whale bones. Seaside visits make you happy!

Beach, that is: salt on your skin and sand between your toes, building sandcastles, sunbathing.... Researches have proved that visiting the sea makes people happy. These happy feelings stick afterwards a considerable while. Experience it yourself-
Several seals live in the Eastern Scheldt
Several seals live in the Eastern Scheldt

Seals and porpoises

About 400 common seals live in this region. In late June and early July, the seal pups are born. During this time, the mothers seek out the quieter spots. Grey seal are hardly being seen.

Even some harbour Porpoises live here. Which is unique: normally porpoises don't live in estuary's. Calves are born every year in the Park and spotted regularly along the coastline together with their mother. But although the birth rate seems to have increased, it's still not clear if the food availability is enough to sustain a growing population of these cetaceans.
-From land observation points you may be lucky and spot these animals! You can join boat excursions.(e.g. Frisia & Onrust) They take of at low tide and navigate along several sandbanks in the where seals rest.

- The sea animal hospital of "a Seal" in Stellendamreceives many sick seals. They can recover there and afterwards they are put into the sea again. 

Zeeland is an important Bird area in Europ
Zeeland is an important Bird area in Europ

Bird paradise?

Zeeland is one the of the best birding areas of the Netherlands (and international important!). thanks to its situation, marshes, polders, lakes and natural reserves, especially during the migrations and winter. Hundreds of thousands of geese, ducks, waders and passerines, attracting raptors, stay for a short or a long period. Among them, one can find rarer species such as Red-Breasted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Long-tailed Duck, Rough-legged Buzzard, Snow Bunting, ...The Eastern Scheldt Delta is one of the three most important wintering grounds for birds in Europe. Do you know that some birds arrive here ravenous, after a non-stop flight of more than 5 thousand kilometres from Greenland?
Also each year flamingo's hibernate here in the nearby Grevelingen-lake. And even a colony of spoonbills and pink godwits stay here over winter.

Kanoe on the lake of Veere
Kanoe on the lake of Veere

Veerse Meer (Lake of Veere)

The lake of Veere is 22 Kilometres long. As the Dam between Noord-Beveland and Walcheren was made: it was a closed lake. Nowadays it has an opening so that the water now is a mix of fresh and salt water.

There are 17 Islands in the lake of Veere. 5 of them are forbidden for humans to access. They specially for birds. You can visit the other 12 islands A lovely idea to sail to those islands and stop there for a pick nick..

Spectacular encounters..

Look on foot or in a canoe for shy wild animals like: the porpoise, flamingo, seal, fallow deer or fox. Perhaps you come across wild horses or a flock of large herbivores (like Heck cattle, Herefords) or Konik horses.
Did you know that they spotted in 2021 a wolf over here and that even the rare Wisent (European Bison) and sea eagle live in Zeeland? Take your binoculars and go outside!

A detail of the coast of Noord-Beveland
A detail of the coast of Noord-Beveland

The divers landscape of Zeeland

At Noord-Beveland you can enjoy a broad outlook over acres where dikes are the borders. The tall poplars accentuate the horizon. As you see a field with blue flax growing. You will find tranquillity and space: the ideal combination for the perfect way to unwinde.
How different the landscape is a bit more South. I"De zak van Zuid Beveland" contains the oldest polder landscape of the Netherlands. It looks like a large patchwork of fields, orchards, berrie shrubs, pastures, dikes and creeks.

Noord-Beveland has about 50 kilometres of coastline and is surrounded by  the Oosterschelde and the  Lake of Veere (Veerse Meer).

Dikes and inlayers: typical Noord-Beveland scenery
Dikes and inlayers: typical Noord-Beveland scenery

Park Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt)

The north side of Noord-Beveland touches the national Park Oosterschelde (37000 ha): this is the largest and wettest national Park of the Nethelands. A variated park with not only water, but also dikes, dunes, inlayers, wet fields, salt marshes. Because of the low and high tide you will find many different plants and animals. This variety leads to different biotopes, small ecosystem, and therefor for many different plants and animals. An important part of the European Network of nature reserves.

small roads amazing clouds
small roads amazing clouds

Numerous nature reserves

are to be found. A large part of Zeeland belongs to protected European Natura2000 area.
Some reserves came into existence spontaneously, some are created by human.
- nature reserve Schelphoek : came into existence after the inundation or 1953 and "Rammekenshoek" after the bombardments carried out by the Allied Forces in 1944.( you must visit her the impressive sea Fortress Rammekens)
- The Inlets (wetlands) of Noord-Beveland came into being because man made a second dike inland, on places where people believed that the original Eastern Scheldt dike would collapse. The land inbetween these dikes (inlets) is valuable nature ground.
- The Veere woods and creeks owe their existence to the bursting of the dike in 1945 during the liberation of Walcheren. The deep tidal channels were formed and later forest planted all around.
-- Former drinkwater-collection area Oranjezon is a rich in plant and animal life. Apart from roe deer, it is also a home to a population of fallow deer.
- De Schotsman at Noord Beveland is one of the "orchid hotspots, where you can find for example the marsh orchid. In Zeeland are 18 different orchid varieties to be found.
- Boswachterij Westerschouwen
: the biggest forest of The Netherlands (330 ha big)
(more: Zeeuwslandschap / Natuurmonumenten)

You may gather some shells for your own meal.
You may gather some shells for your own meal.

Nature in the water

Depending on the time of the year the divers expierience under water a very diverse array of marine life with many species of anemones, sponges, lobsters, crabs, slugs and squid.
Sepia is the most common type of squid that you might encouter in the Oosterschelde. Especially in the spring when the water temperature about 12 degrees and the Sepia is laying its eggs in the Oosterschelde. This is a wonderful sight for the diver to see. From febuary to april divers have the chance to meet the Lump fish. During these months it comes out of the North Sea into the Oosterschelde to reproduce.
Also seahorses can be found in the waters of the Eastern Sheldt as wel as the only coral sort of the Netherlands: The Dead Mens Finger (Alcyonium digitatum): a soft coral sort.