The city council has purchased Laar in Ekeren-Donk. Het Laar covers an area of four hectares and will be further developed into a natural recreational green area. “The unique green character of this heritage-value landscape is now fully preserved,” says District Mayor Quinn Palinex (N-VA).
With the green plan, the city also wants to focus on the recreational experience and environmental sustainability in this area. Het Laar is located between the greenery of Hoekakker and Oude Landen and the castle plain of Merksem. This makes it a valuable link between these domains for both human and animal. It is literally a connected field in a lowland landscape.
Buying Laar is not only good news in terms of general accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians, but also in terms of the environment, historical value and landscape of the area. “The old Laarhof land purchase procedure took years, but with this purchase real progress has now been made,” says Palinckx.
“By purchasing the site, we can protect the site from buildings and thus retain the water’s buffering function,” says Aldermann Els van Doesburg (N-VA), who is responsible for Green, among other things. “We will restore wooded Laar one day to its former glory. By the end of 2023, one hectare of the area will be reforested.” The site also has an important function as a flood zone. The area borders Laarse beek and is therefore prone to flooding.
Het Laar is part of the “Laagland” landscape in the citywide green scheme. The area was once full of trees, but it gradually turned into an agricultural area with a few farms. However, from the 19th century onwards, the area became forested again, so that today valuable ancient forest parts can be found at the site. (in other words)