Formerly known as “Nieuwenvijver”, the Domaine des Silex is an old estate that once belonged to King Léopold II, who donated it to the state in 1901. Today, it is owned by the Royal Trust. Since 1999, the Ornithological Commission of Watermael-Boitsfort (COWB) has been endeavouring to restore the biodiversity of the site. The one-hectare pond, the banks of which have been re-profiled, has been drained while the Vuilbeek stream is once again uncovered. A bank has even been created with nesting boxes for the kingfisher that frequents the waterway along with great crested grebes, little grebes and mandarin ducks. As for the reed warblers, they are happy to nest in the reed bed. A “sand” wall has been created for sand martins, and the amount of mowed lawns has been reduced to a minimum in favour of meadows of tall grass, mown once or twice a year, facilitating the re-emergence of wild plants and flowers that attract insects and other birds. Since 2008, the estate has had an educational botanical trail with information sheets in four languages. At the start of 2017, 174 species of bird had been spotted at Domaine des Silex. (Listed 18/11/1993)
In cooperation with Commission Ornithologique de Watermael-Boitsfort (COWB).
Walking tour through the site. Saturday and Sunday at 11h00, 14h00 and 16h00 (duration: 1 hour). Meet in front of the gate at the entrance to the estate, Chemin des Silex/Vuursteenweg 10, Watermael-Boitsfort/Watermaal-Bosvoorde. In French only. Up to 25 people per tour.