Hallerbos is a unique forest cover in the city of Belgium whose forest floor is carpeted with the purple colored bluebell flowers in the spring season and is known to be a crowd’s favorite. This is an extensive forest area, which is found between Zenne and Zonien and the flowers’ blooms in mid-April. The Giant Sequoia tree makes a visit to the forest area worthy. The forest covers an area of about 1,360 acres, and is situated in municipality area of Halle, which is in Flemish Brabant, and its little part is in Walloon Brabant. The public and private transports are both available for reaching the destination.
In the beginning of a Mesolithic era, Hallerbos was a part of a vast carboniferous forest. But it started to minimize and in time of Romans, origination of smaller forests was done out of which one was Zonienwoud and other Hallerbos made an Eastern border. Hallerbos was also a part of Silva Carbonaria, Meerdaal and Sonian Forest. Even in the later part of the year 1777, it was connected to the Sonian Forest with the help of the woodland strip. In the year 1778, Hallerbos was divided between the Duke and the Chapter of Arenberg and there were some 24 boundary stones found during the survey. After the World War I, most of the old trees were removed by the German Forces and the Belgian government took over Hallerbos from Arenberg family as a compensation for war.
There are many historic cafes and restaurants in the vicinity where people can enjoy the atmosphere related with the glorious past. People play cards, discuss the latest news and feel cozy here. The local cuisine can be found in the restaurant “‘t Kriekske”, which serves rabbit, mussels, steaks and eel in green sauce. The other significant places that one can see are Roebuck Walk, which is an adventurous walk through four valleys and Bluebell walk that starts at Achtdreven on the central plateau and walks past through the bluebell area.
Habitat and Biodiversity
The total forest reserve area is around 100 hectares and is a place where rare plants grow such as Bear’s Garlic, Spiked Rampion, Herb-Paris and heather plants are also found here. There are also large varieties of flowers, which attract a number of butterflies like Rare Purple Emperor, White-letter Hairstreak, and Brown Hairstreak. Hallerbos has currently some ten ponds where fishes can be found and on summer evenings, one can witness the bats hunting in the water area. This place is also ideal for bird watching as in the autumn season one can find many water birds around ponds.
Environmental Threats and Territorial Disputes
There are areas, which are under the threat from the urbanization of the region so, the Pine Marten Plan was started, and its official mascot is the Pine Marten. The blue forest is said to have been trampled by the tourists as many of them visits the area. It destroys the tiny flower bulbs, and only the tiny patch is left for the coming year.