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The Haut-Geer nature reserve

The Haut-Geer nature reserve

In cooperation with Natagora and farming cooperative Apligeer, we have realised a unique project in Belgium that restored the Haut-Geer nature reserve to its former pristine biodiverse glory. Following the discontinuation of the local beetroot refinery of Hollogne-sur-Geer, we managed to salvage its intricate mosaic of sedimentation reservoirs and turn it into natural symbiosis with our production flow.


Partnering up to save an ecological treasure

The intricate mosaic of sedimentation reservoirs that make up the 26-hectare nature reserve originally belonged to a local beetroot refinery, which quickly began to wither away after the refinery closed its doors. Hesbaye Frost then purchased the property with the intent of saving and restoring the site to its original natural grandeur, and joined forces with Natagora and farming cooperative Apligeer to succeed in its objective.

A fragile paradise

Today, under the spur of Hesbaye Frost’s restoration initiative, the Haut-Geer site is completely revitalised and houses remarkable flora and fauna, including a wide range of bird species – some of which are extremely rare. This amazing ornithological beauty spot now stands as an excellent example of how industry, farming and nature preservation associations can work together for the good of the environment.

A viable home for countless of birds

The Haut-Geer site now comprises the ideal place to feed, nest and hibernate for more than 212 bird species. Bearded reedlings, black-necked grebes and red phalaropes are just a few of the many beautiful water birds and songbirds that have made the natural reserve into their home. With urbanisation and a pauperisation of landscape ever pushing forward, the importance of this natural reserve for the survival of some of these bird species cannot be underestimated.

Repaying nature with purified water

After cleaning and blanching its vegetables, our Hesbaye Frost site in Belgium purifies its wastewater, which is then used to irrigate the surrounding crop fields or flows to the reservoirs of the Haut-Geer nature reserve in Hollogne-sur-Geer during winter. The latter is a real paradise for indigenous birds – and maybe even more so for enthusiastic bird-watchers!

Did you know?

Hesbaye Frost’s water purification plant processes 2,600 m3 of water every 24 hours, which is the equivalent of the water consumed by ± 100,000 inhabitants. It’s Belgium’s largest private water purification plant south of Brussels.