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The Ruigeplaatbos in Hoogvliet is a special nature reserve on the edge of the island of IJsselmonde.

In 1997, a tornado raged over part of this city park on the banks of the Oude Maas. The tops of large poplars were torn off like mikado sticks. In the meantime, nature has recovered again. In fact, plant and animal species have been added thanks to the storm! Woodpeckers settled, oyster mushrooms grew, the forest returned at a flying pace, richer than ever. Due to the abundance of dead wood, the Ruigeplaat forest is an inviting habitat for mushrooms. And in the autumn, all kinds of migratory birds - on their way to the warm south - come here to snack on the many elderberries and blackberries that are now growing en masse in the Ruigeplaat forest thanks to the storm.

At the suggestion of ARK, the Hoogvliet district allows part of the Ruigeplaat forest to be grazed by Scottish highlanders and leaves this storm forest completely alone. Since then, nature has continued to develop every year in this beautiful area. Via an impressive platform of no less than 900 meters in length straight through the reed land, the visitor can become acquainted with the dynamics of the river - sometimes almost personally. At high tide and strong winds, this 'boardwalk' becomes (partially) flooded. This part of the Ruigeplaatbos is managed by the Zuid-Hollands Landschap foundation.

Just outside the park, ARK developed Ruige Plaat Nature Playground in Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet. This fantastic place, where children could experience fantastic adventures using natural materials, was transferred to the municipality of Rotterdam in July 2010. The Nature Playground is currently no longer open to experiencing nature adventures.

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