Monitoring and surveys

The Drowned Land of Saeftinghe

In the Middle Ages, the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe was a place with villages and a castle. Today tides again have free rein and it is has become the largest brackish marsh in Europe.

Salt marshes and mudflat

What makes this area so unique are the extensive salt marshes, deep channel systems and mudflats, which are influenced by the tide every day. In addition, grazing helps with management. Thanks to this special dynamic, there are many transitional zones, for example from brackish to salt, wet to dry, sand to clay and peat. The animals and plants can adapt to changes in this dynamic area. We have mapped the vegetation of this area through many weeks of field work in this unique area.

Automatic image classification

This project is a good example of the synergy between field work and the expertise of our Geodata Intelligence team. This year, remote, difficult-to-reach areas were mapped at Saeftinghe, both on foot and with a UAV. With the vegetation surveys and the detailed photo images we can determine which vegetation type occurs in different places. This data serves as training data for an automatic image classification that was carried out as a pilot this year. The UAV and the classification model contribute to a more efficient working method. Nevertheless, field work remains an indispensable part of this work.