The province of Zeeland has provided the first paintings for the roof of the Meester van der Heijden Quarry to residents of Nieuw-Namur and the neighboring village of Kieldrecht in Belgium. Aiming to preserve the neglected, overgrown quarry – a special geological monument in the East Zealand Flanders, where 10 million-year-old layers of earth have come to the surface – against frost, rain and erosion. The quarry must also play a role in energy transfer. For this, the quarry gets a subsidy of seven tons through the Heritage Deal.
Underwater forest of pine trees
Architect Rowe Coaster wants to move over time with the idea of a ‘solar ocean’ at the same level as the ground level. Millions of years ago, the site was covered by a large body of water, the Pliocene Sea, which was also home to large sharks. The underwater forest, lined with pine trees, is typical of the area after many years, with nearly 3,500-square-feet of sunshade in place.
The idea is that you have to walk back to the meter-deep quarry instead of looking up from the wooden platform. Under the new plan, the dilapidated Decking Bridge, which opened for the festival ten years ago, will disappear.
Nathalie de Visser, project head of Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe, insists that this is just a painting and that it is not yet certain whether the project will go fully. It depends on many factors. For example, for Zeeuwind Energy Co., the solar roof should be profitable, Statsposphere management and maintenance and completeness can be guaranteed. Ass proof will be done. One point to pay attention to is ventilation, as the quarry should not dry out completely because the steep wall will collapse further. “It’s a big puzzle, the puzzle pieces have to fit together.”
Dozens of children’s drawings
It is in the immediate vicinity of the quarry, which needs further expansion. Earlier in the evening, children from two elementary schools drew dozens of maps with their preferences and ideas for natural existence. A wooden house, Watchtower or landscape playground was more on the wish list. People want to turn the nature reserve in the middle of the village into a place for recreation and play.
It is therefore important for Debbie Hart of the New-Namur Village Council to reflect on the children’s preferences in the final plan. Although she likes the idea of a slide that you can use in addition to the stairs and arch to enter the quarry. “It’s a good start.”
Concern about maintenance
People were generally positive about the first paintings. There are still concerns about its maintenance. This has happened much less in recent years, as a result of which special geological layers are often covered with grass, the roots of the trees growing through the steep wall, and the boards now have their day. The quarry has been closed for public view for the last 2 years.
Project leader Natalie de Visser says there are still discussions going on with the owner of the area, Stotsbospiheer, who manages the area in principle. As there are many more uncertainties in the plan, the parties are also thinking of an interim solution so that the quarry can be opened more in the meantime. To do this, remove the platform and place the stairs and slide already to go to the bottom of the quarry.
In the coming months, residents will be able to provide ideas and talk about the details, further layout of the site and its relationship with the environment. They can register for this through so-called participation sites Border Park Crude Safety website.
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