After the Flemish Government and the Province of West-Flanders became owners of the Zwin plain and the former visitors’ infrastructure, respectively, they decided to construct a new reception centre. The Zwin Nature Centre will become the gateway to the Zwin and the main starting point for a visit to the Zwin region (www.zwinstreek.eu). This is an initiative of the Province of West-Flanders in collaboration with the Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos (Agency for Nature and Forests), which has received financial support from the city of Knokke-Heist, the ‘Kustactieplan’ (Coast Action Plan) and the European Union. The construction work was begun in 2013 and should last until 2016.
On birds and migratory routes
In the Zwin Nature Centre, visitors will find information about the rich populations of birds in the area, which functions essentially as an international airport for birds in transit. The two reception centres – the Visitor’s Centre and the Viewing Centre – have been designed as arrival and departure halls, with screens displaying the latest information about which bird species have arrived and the routes they have followed.
Interactive displays guide visitors through the highlights of bird migration. Film and other media provide additional background about the history and significance of the Zwin. Especially for schools and groups, in the building next door to the Visitor’s Centre there is an extra educational area where in-depth information is provided on specific aspects such as the tides, tidal flats and salt marshes, the importance of the dunes and dikes, etc.
The observation post of the Visitor’s Centre will offer a spectacular view of the surrounding landscapes and the sea, while the large windows of the Viewing Centre, which is built into the dunes, affords a fantastic panoramic view towards the Zwin channel.
Browse in the gift shop, stop for refreshments in the charming cafeteria … Both indoors and out, the contemporary Zwin Nature Centre gives visitors an attractive, interactive and stimulating experience of nature. It will be a unique, nature-based star-attraction for tourists on the Flemish and Dutch coast.
On the map