The Scheldt Plains Nature Park consists of 26,500 ha spanning six municipalities (42 former villages), i.e., Rumes, Brunehaut, Antoing, Péruwelz, Belœil, and Bernissart (going from west to east). This natural heartland is located in southern Walloon Picardy, a stone’s throw from Tournai, Lille, and Mons. It abuts the Franco-Belgian border to form, together with the Scarpe-Scheldt Regional Nature Park, the Hainaut Cross-border Nature Park.

Carte du Parc naturel des Plaines de l’Escaut (afficher en grand)

The Scheldt as a liquid thread

The Scheldt is a European river that enters Belgium under its French name, the Escaut, via the Scheldt Plains Nature Park. It crosses 15 km of the park, but the entire flood plain has left its mark on the area, for 63 km of canals, 400 km of walking trails, wetlands, and marshes take over to offer a landscape of harmony and diversion for rambling.

An environmental patchwork

The park contains a great variety of landscapes and biotopes.  Forests, meadows criss-crossed by woods and hedges, and farmers’ open fields follow each other in turn. Pollarded willows mark the horizontal perspectives of the views. The Pays des Mâchons (stone masons) walk at Rumes, nurseries of Lesdain, Antoing and Beloeil castles, Grand Large lake and marina at Péronnes, Iguanodon Museum at Bernissart, and Harchies Marshes offer an endless range of discoveries. Nor should you forget the “Forest Halt” multimedia discovery route and canopy walk at the visitors’ centre, which is a main gateway into the territory.