CLEARING AND REDEVELOPMENT OF THE COSMOS AND CRYSTAL PALACE CAMPSITE AREAS
In 2011, the dune area between Lombardsijde and Westende was restored to its original state by the Coastal Department. The area had been severely impacted by the expansion of tourism and the presence of the Cosmos and Crystal Palace campsites. The Flemish authorities purchased both sites and decontaminated them: after clearing away all the litter, landfill waste, glass residue, remnants of caravans, campers and barriers, any remaining structures and ruins were demolished and removed.
A policy strategy and a development plan were devised for the area. In doing so, a vision of integrated sustainable coastal management was always kept in mind. First and foremost, attention was paid to repairing the sea defence structure, with new dunes being created as a natural defence against the sea. The nature value of the area was enhanced by appropriate, new planting schemes and by digging pools, while the hiking trails and viewing platform contribute to the tourist-recreational function of the area. Those landscape elements also enhance the experience for visitors without placing a burden on the area or threatening it.
The area is managed by the Nature and Forestry Agency of the Flemish authorities.