Description of the nature reserve
The Gemene Water Meadows are located on the Dender between the Gavers provincial estate and the centre of Grimminge. It is an open area of 17 hectares of meadowland with valley woods, willow bush, marshy areas and poplars.
Historical maps only show a small area of old forest. The rest of the area can be called historical grassland. Striking in this part of the Dender is the still large proportion of grassland. The poplars, so characteristic of the Dender Valley, have only been planted here in recent decades.
Animals and plants
Typical species for this area are the northern lapwing, little owl, fieldfare, Eurasian sparrowhawk, common kingfisher, European green woodpecker and the lesser spotted woodpecker. Especially in winter floods, the Gemene water meadows are an attraction for waterfowl: common shelduck, northern pintail, Eurasian wigeon, garganey, northern shoveler, gadwall, tufted duck and common pochard. Also waders, including the northern lapwing, little ringed plover, common snipe, black-tailed godwit, green sandpiper, common greenshank, common redshank and the ruff are found here.
Open all year round on the paths. On the towpath along the Dender, you have a good view of the Gemene water meadows. A viewing cabin and wall are planned here in the near future. This should make it easier to observe the many bird species that are frequent visitors in winter floods, for example.