Fens and peat bogs

Flowery fens

The forests harbour all sorts of fens and small heath complexes, like the Snoekveen, the Ganzenpoel, the Groote Veen and the Gouden Ploeg. These small areas provide some contrast in the forest landscape and protect many species like bell-heather, sundew and adder from scarcity. Many fens originate from way back. The groundwork for this landscape was done in the ice ages. Ice pushed rocks and loam to our region. Water and wind added a thick sand parcel at a later stage. Stagnating melt water turned into pools and ponds. The Grenspoel, the Ganzenpoel and the Gouden Ploeg are examples. In lower parts, a thick fen package was created, like in the Groote Veen. There is a great variety of plants growing in the many fens and wet heather channels. Bottom and water are calcium deficient. Only species adapted to this environment manage to live here. When peat is cut along the sides of a pool, little sundew will start growing rapidly. This little plant uses its sticky leaves to catch little insects to ‘eat them all up’. This is how it fulfils its protein needs. The bright yellow flowers of the bog asphodel can also be found along the pool edges, like in the Doldersummerveld. Myrica gale is a sweet smelling scrub which can be found close to the Groote Veen. Other plants which can be found in pools and heath bogs are bell-heather, purple moor grass and common cotton grass.