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
The Empelse Waard is a popular place for many species of birds and insects, and a beaver family lives there since 2014.
visit this little gem quite often, the photos are from 2021 onwards.