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Nature in the Ardennes

More and more holidaymakers spend the last years a short or long holiday in the Ardennes in the spring or late season. Both spring and autumn have their charm. Spring is great, because in that period nature is in full bloom. In autumn the forests however alter an impressive color paradise. In summer you can enjoy a pleasant early morning walk in the beautiful surroundings Ardennen Camping Bertrix has to offer.

From the campsite you can walk straight through a beautiful area where it often seems as if you're alone on the world. You walk through the woods and deserted paths and country lanes with magnificent views. The only sound you hear are the birds and the flowing water of the numerous streams. During a leisurely walk you will not be the first to see a group of deer, a fox or a wild boar. This beautiful, untouched nature is often a justified reason why many walkers regularly return to this unique area to enjoy the tranquility, the flora and fauna.

Climate in the Ardennes

The climate is very pleasant in the Ardennes, both summer and autumn vacations. Summers are hot and winters are cold. Compared to the rest of Belgium it snow a lot, an average of 80 days per year. It also rains more often, hence the beautiful green countryside! Most rain and snow falls in December. In the Ardennes, the sun shines approximately 1500 to 1600 hours per year. This is the normal amount of sunshine that we know in the Benelux.

Flora in the Ardennes

The plants in the Ardennes are rich, extensive and varied.

Deciduous forests and coniferous forests
In the mixed deciduous forest you will find oak, beech, willow, birch, poplar and acacia trees. The ground vegetation consists mostly of ferns and grasses. As of blackberries, raspberries and wild strawberriesdelicious jams are made here.

In the pine forest you will find the following types of conifer, the Douglas fir (which has a bluish white and is up to 60 meters high), the Spruce (can reach a height of 35 meters) and larch (which loses its needles).

In the Ardennes you can find nut trees, fruit trees (plums, apples and pears), hazel, medlar ass, holly, the elder, and many others.

Herbs and medicinal plants
The Ardennes are a true herbgarden. A variety of medicinal herbs, culinary herbs grow here as well. Common medicinal plants of the nettle, dandelion, lady's mantle, mallow, gentian, club moss, deadly nightshade and plantain. Herbs that can be found are Marjolijn, wild mint, wild thyme, lemon grass and juniper.

Fauna in the Ardennes

The Ardennes are an excellent habitat for large and small mammals, but birds and reptiles are more common in this area.

Foxes

are common in the Ardennes and are considered the main carrier of rabies, so keep your distance. The fox hunts on small game and almost everything that moves when they have got youngsters.

Deer

are also common in the Ardennes forest and live in families or groups. They feed on grass and flowers. The biggest deer is a red deer with a shoulder height of 1m40 and weighing over 120 kg. The fur of these animals is almost red in summer and gray in winter. The male deer wear antlers that can hold 10 branches. The female deer are smaller. The boy has a brown coat with white spots.

Roe

are smaller than the deer and they have a white spot on their ass. They can best be seen early in the morning and evening, because during the day they keep well hidden.

The boar

is a dangerous animal especially during the mating and nursing season. Young boars are brown in color with yellow stripes on their back. As they get older the color brown changes gray to black. Wild boars are also seen during the day and like to sit in the mud.

The wild cat

is not often seen but is doing well and their numbers are increasing every year. These cats are not feral cats, but the original forest animals. Feral cats can be up to one meter long and weigh less than 5 kg. They mainly live at night and this is why they are so little seen. The Lynx is a feline predator with a short tail and tassels on the ears.

Rodents

(or small mammals) live in large numbers in the Ardennes. Think of rabbits, hares, squirrels, moles, rats, mice, hedgehogs, stoats and martens more. The polecat, the ferret, the weasel and muskrat are common in the Ardennes.

Birds

A birdguide is needed to name them all. So many different bird species have elected habitat in the Ardennes. Hunting wild pheasants and partridges to see almost everywhere in the forest. In the forest you will find various types of birds and songbirds such as wood pigeons, Turkish doves , the goldfinch, blackbirds, thrushes, kingfishers, and much more. Above the woods and meadows, you will see many birds of prey hovering and suddenly diving down like the buzzard, kestrel and sparrow hawks.

Reptiles

Even though winters are cold, still snakes come here, like the grass snake and the poisonous viper, who also sometimes is confused with the slow worm. These snakes prefer to live in a moist soil and can usually be found near water. The slow worm likes drought and therefore seeks the heat. Lizards, frogs and newts are also common in the Ardennes. You will also find the yellow and black spotted salamander that when in contact sprays poison.

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Camping Bertrix is a four star campsite. By the ANWB (Dutch car federation) rated as best campsite in the Ardennes.