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Forest occupation in Belgium

Wednesday 10 July 2013

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Since the first of Juli we have occupied a forest in Wilrijk, south of Antwerp in Belgium. It looks like it won’t be a very long occupation, because the owner has already started all the procedures to kick us out and the police stops by at least once a day. We urgently need more people (climbers and ground crew!) to help us occupy this forest and make it as hard as possible for the police to evict us.

So if you can spare a few days to protect the forest with your presence and help us build our walkways, platforms and kitchen, please stop by!

adress: fotografielaan 7


train to antwerp central

from rooseveltplaats bus 500 to boom

get off close to the pizzahut (ask busdriver)

walk to the pizzahut, go right, at the end of the road (cows) go right, first left, you’ll see the banners

you can contact us at:

for more info: / facebook van steungroep groenoord


The area has been mapped as a forest since 1771 and is an ecologically very valuable oak forest which is a habitat for lots of birds and endangered bat species. The forest is a so called wrongly zoned forest, it’s been zoned as an industrial area since 2005. Flanders (the dutch speaking part of Belgium) is the second poorest region in Europe when it comes to forests, only 8 % of the land if forest. About a third of those forests are wrongly zoned which means they are often threatened. Most of these forests are cut without anyone ever knowing. So we are not just fighting for this specific forest, we are fighting for a more just forest policy in Flanders.

The owner wants to cut the forest to build an office and storage space, but it is not clear if they have someone to rent it yet. Their old partner ended the contract because the plans were delayed.

There’s heaps of empty office buildings in Flanders. Within a minute’s walk from the forest there’s 4 empty buildings that could be renovated or broken down to make space for a new building. Yet they still want to cut the forest.

Because they have never done proper geological studies there’s big problems with the water in the area. The water can’t go anywhere so part of the forest is often under water, which has killed a lot of the trees. Measures need to be taken to ensure the survival of the forest.

Whenever cutting forests in Flanders, they talk about compensation. Which is bullshit. You can’t just cut a forest here and plant a new one somewhere else.

It is about time we realise that trees have an intrinsic value and stop thinking only about money.


Help us defend the trees!

groeNoord / Groenfront! (Earth First!)