The Bay of Heist

Beach Heist

In recent decades, an ecologically valuable area of approximately 50 hectares developed on the western side of the sea dike. Ironically, this Bay of Heist is the result of the expansion of the port of Zeebrugge. Due to the construction of the eastern breakwater between 1977 and 1985, a large amount of seaweed bunches, shells and driftwood were deposited on the then narrow beach. This formed the breeding ground for seeds of sea rocket and sea sandwort, among other plants, which held the sand that was washed up. Slowly but steadily, the shifting sand formed low, embryonic dunes. These silt soils, which are rich in nutrients, were highly attractive for all kinds of waders and duck species.


  • Freely accessible along the marked paths, from early August to early April;
  • During the breeding season, the low beach is closed in order to protect the nests of beach birds;
  • The nature reserve is not open to dogs, not even on their leash or on the low beach


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