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Garden. Ecological corridors, urban network: Brussels leads by example – Insurance for Pets



In Belgium, the flowered facades are part of the ecological corridors. (ISABELLE MORAND / RADIO FRANCE / FRANCE INFO)
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An ecological corridor consists of connecting reservoirs of biodiversity. To put it simply, it involves planting hedges, flowers, and vegetating the edges of streets, roads or railways, to ensure the sustainability of natural environments and strengthen biodiversity. We also use the term ecological mesh.

Brussels is one of the pioneer cities. The Belgian capital has been working on these corridors for 30 years. Bernard Cwiek is a manufacturer of insect hotels. He works with communities and individuals.

« The first idea to connect the parks to each other was to work on the highways and national roads that go into town but also on the sides of the railways. We learned to work differently, differently than by using pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.

Plants are the link between all spaces. Fauna circulates between the different places. Without the ecological mesh, the hedgehog gets run over on the road, because he can often do nothing other than cross roads! « 

Ecological networking is a network that has proven itself. This system is almost completed in Brussels. In addition, all new constructions and projects must be designed with sustainable development and biodiversity in mind, including in terms of planting in private homes.

Ecological networking is a network that has proven itself. This system is almost completed in Brussels. In addition, all new constructions and projects must be designed with sustainable development and biodiversity in mind, including in terms of planting in private homes.

Bernard cwiek

Bernard Cwiek, Belgian craftsman, is based in Braives, in the province of Liège. (ISABELLE MORAND / DIDIER HIRSCH / RADIO FRANCE / FRANCE INFO)

Gone are therefore the mono-specific hedges made up only of thuja, for example. It’s ugly, and above all it’s a disaster for biodiversity.

In Brussels, we are organizing to help, encourage individuals to plant plants more suited to this urban ecological network. Every year, at Sainte-Catherine, on November 25, there is a free distribution of trees and shrubs to plant in your garden or in pots: “Individuals are now very careful about everything biodiversity, and they are keen to participate in this concept.

Each year, more than 100,000 trees and shrubs are distributed in Wallonia. The municipalities are also playing the game, and supplementing with distributions of honey plants. Individuals sometimes line up for an hour or two to pick up a plant to put in their garden. They are involved, that’s great! « 

Some insect hotels made by Bernard Cwiek. (ISABELLE MORAND / RADIO FRANCE / FRANCE INFO)

Bernard Cwiek sets up his insect hotels every year here and there, in parks, gardens, and even in cemeteries. For him, this is the tip of the iceberg. Its insect hotels encourage us to take an interest in what is happening under our feet and around us: they make it possible to raise awareness among decision-makers and citizens. And it works.

In Belgium, many municipalities are now following the example of Brussels.

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