The Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve is a unique plateau high in the Eastern part of Belgium.
Covered with ancient moorland and segmented by steep valleys, its open
contours were sculpted by the last glacial age. Since then
its peaty topsoil has encouraged colonisation by a fascinating variety of
heather and grasses, brightly coloured mosses, and hillocks of windswept trees.
It is a subtly toned landscape of stark beauty, like no other in Belgium, offering
both panoramic vistas as well as a micro-world of flora and fauna.
In spite the fact that Belgium is not so northern country,
the landscape of the bog resembles polar tundra – the hummocks overgrown
with a grass, rare, low, curved trees, constrained colors, cold weather...
Hautes-Fagnes is an unusual place. It is the highest plateau in Belgium (670 m above the sea) but despite it is located high in Ardennes it is covered by the bog. Not a usual bog, but an ancient one. The history of that place has started about 7,500 years ago at end of the last glacial age. The special climate of that area (plentiful rains in the summer and snow in winter) and the ability of sphagnum moss to absorb and keep the large amounts of water resulted the layers of peat to grow for centuries.
In 1924, the University of Liege built there a scientific station. Many scientific publications are based on 7,500 year-old bogs, traces of minerals, mosses and insects, old stones and paths…