Scheldt Delta recognised as UNESCO Global Geopark


In the spring of 2024, UNESCO awarded the Scheldt Delta a quality label for the international value it holds for its ecological, cultural-historical and natural heritage. Covering 5,500 km², it is one of the largest geoparks in the world.

The humble spring that rises from a hill in the French village of Gouy-Le-Câtelet, Aisne department, flows into the North Sea 355 km away, passing Wallonia and Flanders along the way, as well as Vlissingen in the Netherlands as a mighty river 5 km wide: the Scheldt. Before that, it is successively called Upper, Lower, Sea and Western Scheldt. 

Now UNESCO has declared the Scheldt Delta region a Global Geopark. Accordingly, thanks to its international value, the landscape surrounding it will be managed in an integral way by various partners. The focus will be on conservation, education, sustainable development, wildlife management and tourism. After all, projects around that are more likely to receive grants. This geopark covers as much as 5,500 km² in the provinces of Antwerp, East Flanders and West Flanders. In the Netherlands, it covers the entire province of Zeeland and the western part of the province of North Brabant. A varied landscape of sandy and sandy-loam soils, cuestas, cover sand, sea clay with polders, coastal dunes and traces of human intervention. From the river's mouth all the way to Ghent, high tide and low tide push and pull, blending salt and fresh water in the process. This tide turns the delta into an estuary. 

The Scheldt, a valuable lifeline for nature, culture and the economy alike.