A brand new tunnel…for cattle!
Way up in the north of Belgium, in Reynard the Fox’s Land of Waas, a new tunnel has been built to ensure safe crossing under a dike…not for foxes, nor for humans, but for cattle!
You’ve read that right. The King’s dike in Sint-Gillis-Waas (East Flanders) is lined with a cycling path, and there are places where cattle can graze on both sides of the dike. The only issue is that the cows are staying mainly on one side of the dike. Now, they have a safe way to make it to the other side.
Not only that, but it means greater safety for the reed beds on the southern side of the dike. The fact that the cattle favoured that side meant that the reed beds (which are protected by law) got damaged. Now that the cows have safe passage to the north, the hope is that the reed can recover.
The conclusion? Cyclists, nature, cattle: everybody’s served with this solution.
We brought up Reynard before, and while it’s not quite as old as the now-classic – Belgian – story, the dike was built a long, long time ago, in 1673. It runs right along the border with the Netherlands and was once used as a military defence, as it was conceived during the Eighty Years’ War.
Personally, we can’t think of a better way to explore Belgium than by taking a two-wheeler along its cattle-rich border!