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Damse Vaart
Domain Ryckevelde
NR town walls of Damme
NR fortress Saint-Donaas
NR Platte Kreek
NR Zwin

Castle Ryckevelde

Domain Ryckevelde

Castle Ryckevelde is located in a beautiful woody environment.  This domain is no longer situated in the polders but in the sand area of Damme.  This area is by defenition much older than the polders and the sandy soil makes the vegetation different in comparison with the rest of Damme.   

This wood is the largest on the territory of the town and was already inhabited in prehistoric times.  You can take pleasant and quiet strolls here.  A part of the domain is military exercise terrain and a small part of moorland is a separate nature reserve: the so-called "Schobbejakshoogte".

The primarely poor sandy soil intially only generated moor vegetation. This vegetation has largely dissapeared due to the plantation of the wood in the beginning of the 19th century.  The former railway Bruges - Maldegem passes through the wood; it stayed in service unitl the sixties of the previous century and has now been transformed into a bicycle path.  The alternation of cultivated fields, meadows, conifer forest and deciduous wood creates a large landscape variation.

The most common kinds of trees and bushes in the wood are: American oak, American bird-cherry, beech, maple, hazel-tree, honeysuckle, mountain-ash, lime-tree, birch, chestnut-tree, elderberry, willow, summer-oak, larch and different kinds of firs and pine-trees.  Besides this, there are quite a lot of herbs, grasses and ferns. The wood is evidently also important for birds that find shelter and food in it.  You can observe the woodpecker, wood-pigeons, robins, cuckoos, tomtits, jackdaws, starlings, mavis,... and with a bit of luck a long-eared owl.

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