Zwin Nature Park

The Zwin plain is a rare area of pastoral landscape in Europe: a foreshore. Put on your boots, water- and windproof gear, and bring your binoculars!  At high tide, the sea washes through a channel onto the plain that lies behind the beach and the dune range. This interaction between ebb and flood creates a habitat that is exceptional in Europe: an area consisting of tidal marshes. Only highly specialised plants, such as marsh samphire and see lavender – or, in the rich dialect of the coastal region, zwinneblomme - can survive this unique saltwater biotope. The soil of the mud flats provides a rich and varied source of food for thousands of birds. It is no surprise that the plain is described as an international airport for foreign birds! All year long, they are around in great numbers to breed, hibernate or look for food.

The Zwin plain stretches across the borders of Flanders and the Netherlands. About three quarters (125 hectares) of the total area (158 hectares) of the nature reserve is on Belgian territory (Knokke-Heist); about one quarter (about 33 hectares) is on Dutch territory (Cadzand-Bad). The area on Belgian territory has been purchased by the Flemish Government’s ‘Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos (ANB)’ (the Agency for Nature and Forests).

 The whole site is managed by the Province of West Flanders.


The Zwin plain is open to the public and can be visited with a guide: all information regarding guided tours and how to find us is available on

Practical information about prices, tickets, etc.:

The Zwin nature park:

Graaf Leon Lippensdreef
8300 Knokke-Heist
050 60 70 86
info [at]