This report is a reference report linked to the monitoring of forest reserve Bos Ter Rijst in Heikruis/Hautecroix near Edingen/Enghien in central Belgium (bilingual region across a linguistic, regional and provincial frontier). It covers various topics:
- administrative situation and protective status of the reserve
- its location, soil characteristics and habitats
- historical ecology of the seignory Ter Rijst/Risoir, Ter Rijst/Risoir Wood and the Strijdhout/Strihoux Forest
- the reserve's management history
- an inventory of scientific research within the reserve and its surroundings
- species lists of vascular plants, fungi, invertebrates (spiders and beetles in particular), birds and mammals (bats in particular)
Geographically, forest reserve Bos Ter Rijst covers 28.6 ha in March 2007, but will be extended to 38.4 ha in the near future. It can be described as a relatively narrow embranchment of a roughly 360 ha forest complex of which an important part was parcelled out for residences in the 1980's. The reserve is also surrounded by public parkland (33 ha), fields and pastures. It is located between 50 and 80 m above sealevel on a predominantly gleyic, loamy soil in the Belgian loess belt. Microtopography and preliminary soil explorations suggest strong human activity in the past. Further study of soil profiles is planned.
The upper layers in the reserve are dominated by outgrowed Castanea sativa coppice, Quercus robur + petraea standards, some old Fagus sylvatica individuals, Populus x canadensis planted in the 1960s, Fagus sylvatica planted in 1982-1983, Acer pseudoplatanus, Fraxinus excelsior and Betula sp. The shrub layer mainly consist of Acer pseudoplatanus, Corylus avellana, Castanea sativa and Sambucus nigra. The herbal layer is characterized by the occurence of old forest species: Hyacintoides non-scripta, Allium ursinum, Gagea spathacea, Narcissus pseudonarcissus and the extremely rare Leucojum vernum. Sampling efforts in so-called soil fauna plots show the presence of rare, stenotopic wood beetles as Carabus auronitens and Leistus piceus.
Historically, Ter Rijst Wood is located in the neighbourhoud of an important Roman road (Bavay-Utrecht). According to 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century documents, the seignory of Ter Rijst in the Land of Edingen consisted of woods as well as as fields, pastures and a country estate. The perimeter of the extended reserve can easily be recognized on an 18th century map. Almost the entire forest reserve is forested ever since. Expense claims show that Ter Rijst Wood was probably treated as coppice (raspe) with standards (hautte futtÿ) in 1708-1710 (however raspe could also indicate the selling of branch wood). A regulation dating from 1730 - and signed by the duke of Arenberg, Lord of Edingen - indicates the regional presence of forest grazing (as a treatment against weeds), tree nurseries (with habitat specific tree species) and the practice of excavating tree roots. The toponym warande in the 'primitive land register' from 1834 indicates rabbit breeding in the northeast of the reserve in the probably distant past. Some 19th century park elements - i.c. remnants of a bridge and icehouce - are still present in the reserve. Prunus avium individuals with circumferences of 3 m are said to be removed in the 1960's. In the 1970's Ter Rijst Wood was used as a 'wild boar park' for hunting reasons. The introductory management in 2000-2003 mainly consisted of eliminating non-indigenous trees (Quercus rubra in particular).
|Publisher||Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek|
|Number of pages||131|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Name||Rapporten van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek|
|Publisher||Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek: Geraardsbergen|
EWI Biomedical sciences