Attention for nature when working in Bosland

In early February 2021, Elia will start upgrading the high-voltage line between the 'Massenhoven' and 'Van Eyck' substations in Kinrooi and Maaseik. Near the municipality of Hechtel-Eksel, the line runs through the Bosland nature reserve. The works in this area are done with the necessary attention for nature. The works will be completed by the end of 2020. Once the work has been completed, a nature management plan will ensure that biodiversity is preserved and supported under the high-voltage line.

Works on the high-voltage line in Bosland

When afforestation or crops come into contact with a high-voltage line, this can lead to disturbances. This can jeopardise the power supply. The reinforced Massenhoven-Van Eyck high-voltage line requires a safety corridor of 65 metres. Cutting and pruning work is therefore required in Bosland. Elia will take mitigating measures when removing and hanging electrical wires, so as to take account of the surrounding valuable vegetation and biodiversity. In the work zone, the use of space is organised as efficiently as possible. Where necessary, Elia uses steel plates to prevent soil compaction.

Balance between safety and nature

When managing a high-voltage line, Elia strives for a good balance between safety and nature. The emphasis is on biodiversity and restoring natural habitats. After the reinforcement work is completed, the vegetation and biodiversity around the high-voltage line will be preserved and supported. To make this possible, Elia has drawn up a nature management plan. This was done in collaboration with the Nature and Forest Agency, Zuiderkempen Forest and Limburg Forest Group. In the future, various ecotypes will be possible under the high-voltage line, depending on the ecological potential. In the forest edges, a mantle-edge vegetation, in the form of rough scrub and a shrub and halfwood zone, will serve as a transition to the mixed native forest.

Animation video about nature under high-voltage lines


Green corridor for biodiversity

Thanks to the nature management plan, the safety corridors under the high-voltage line will in future function as a highway for biodiversity through the Bosland nature area. The vegetation and biodiversity under the high-voltage line will contribute to the migration of various species. Research into ecological management under high-voltage infrastructure in Belgium shows that the vegetation and biodiversity under high-voltage lines contributes to the migration of various species and enhances natural habitats. The safety corridors thus become green corridors for biodiversity. Do you want to know more about this theme? Visit the webpage on biodiversity and restoration of natural habitats.

Impression of the area around the high-voltage line after the works 
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