Flora and fauna

Because of the shelter and protection provided by the miles of braided hawthorn and blackthorn bushes, many unusual and sometimes even endangered animal and plant species are found in The Maasheggen.

Both beaver and badger thrive in the area. As do large flocks of blackbirds and redwings, which descend from the cold north on the branches of the hawthorns in the fall. These branches hang down due to the weight of the many red berries. The black redstart also likes to visit the Maasheggen. The old knots in hawthorn trunks and pollarded trees are ideal for nesting, also for the little owl.

Life at Maasheggen!

The monumental hawthorn and blackthorn bushes can live to be several centuries old, also because the species in the area appear to be very resistant to disease. More than forty varieties of the shrubs occur. In March and April, an impressive mass of blossom appears on the bare branches, in colors from pure white to dark pink. Another beautiful color commonly seen in the area is the red of the fruits of the wild cardinal's hat.

The drinking pools in the meadows are not only important sources of water for livestock, they also provide a great diversity of species of toads, frogs and salamanders. These amphibians, which live in the hedgerows, lay their eggs in the pools in the spring. The most distinctive is the crested newt, which is very rare. They have a toothed dorsal crest in spring. This somewhat fearsome appearance contrasts with the many beautiful butterflies found in the Maasheggen. For example, the orange tip, which finds its nectar in the pinky flowers.

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illustration badger