here you can sit down and enjoy the view
young Koot make for safety over a bed of Yellow Floating Heart leaves
Rapeseed colors the dike in front of the polard willow section
spring is coming!
now that is a secluded beach
here ends the eastern pool, just north of Old Empel
the eastern pool on a tranquil day
this tree was felled by beavers
Empelse Waard

The Empelse Waard is a small nature reserve  located just south of the river Maas and to the west of the small village of Oud-Empel

Two elongated pools here are the silted remains of the original Maas before the canalization of a riverbend in 1870.

Since 2015 the westernmost pool is in direct contact with the Maas via a shallow channel with stepping stones. Due to the small local tide (30 cm), the water in this pool is refreshed daily and therefore considerably clearer than the completely closed off eastern pool.
Excavation of the fortified riverside has created two freely eroding banks with nice sandy beaches that attract scores of sunbathers in summer.

There remains a small section of pollard willows along the dike, the remainder of what was once an extensive osier for growing osier wood.

In summer the reserve is extensively grazed by a small herd of happy cattle.

The Empelse Waard is a popular place for many species of birds and insects, and a beaver family lives there since 2014.

I visit this little gem quite often, the photos are from 2021 onwards.

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a map of 1874 shows the canalized riverbend and the onset of what will become the Empelse Waard.
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Canadian Geese enjoy high water in late winter. In the background the A2 motorway bridge
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workers from Natuur Monumenten regularly test the water quality
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a cormorant hangs its wings out to dry
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winter in the Empelse Waard
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cattle roam free here
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