Partners > Regionaal Landschap West-Vlaamse Heuvels

Regionaal Landschap West-Vlaamse Heuvels

The Regionaal Landschap West-Vlaamse Heuvels (RLWH) is a non-governmental organisation with a membership consisting of municipalities, the province, and organisations active in the field of nature and environment, tourism, agriculture and hunting. Our operational range consists of an area of approximately 45,000 hectares.

The RLWH is located in the southern Westhoek, in the south-west of the Province of West-Vlaanderen (Belgium). This is a relatively unspoilt rural area that is very popular with holidaymakers and tourists, not only because of its World War I past but also because of the intrinsic qualities of the countryside.

Copyright Misjel Decleer

Opening up this rural area without spoiling it, through the use of a network of slow traffic roads, is an important tool for increasing support for the environmental protection of the landscape and for preservation and enhancement of biodiversity. 

Why we are taking part

The overall aim of the Accessing the Countryside project is to improve accessibility to the countryside for everyone, allowing everyone to enjoy it and at the same time to preserve and improve the biodiversity of the region

Participating in a European project gives us the opportunity to reinforce and improve the networks between the various partners by means of a cross-border collaboration.

European co-financing ensures that certain projects can be realised, which would otherwise be much harder to complete.

We are able to contribute knowledge and experience in charting and managing slow traffic roads and rights of way at a municipal level, and developing path networks (recreational networks) and related activities.

We also have experience in organising activities in nature and environmental education for a variety of target groups. This has been developed in close collaboration with the nature and environmental education department of the Province of West-Vlaanderen.

We will learn a lot from our partners: new solutions for problems that we are also confronted with, organisation of and working with volunteers, managing a recreational infrastructure through a well-organised set of databases.

What we are doing

Activities we will carry out as part of the project include:

  • developing recreational routes (footpaths, all terrain bicycle paths and bridle paths)
  • developing a management plan for slow traffic roads at municipal level
  • screening of some paths for disabled users
  • scheduling consultation meetings with volunteers.

For information on upcoming activities, visit our events page.

We are setting up a digital atlas of the local roads (Westhoek), which can serve as a foundation for developing the recreational networks. So far, the digital atlas for two municipalities has been completed and digitalised:

  • digital atlas of Kortemark (completed)
  • digital atlas of Zonnbeke (almost completed).