Restoration ecology

Natural processes

A key part of restoration ecology and rewilding is the restoration of natural processes. This can have multiple benefits such as enhancing biodiversity and tackling climate change, and has become known as nature-based solutions (or eco-engineering). We have extensive knowledge of ecological systems such as rivers and waterways, coastal ecology and habitat restoration.

Humans have a history of fighting against natural processes, especially against the threat of high water and storm surge. This is evident in coastal defences, dams, changing watercourses and canals, but we are increasingly learning the benefit of working with these processes instead of against them.

Nature-based solutions

There is increasing awareness for integrated and natural solutions in developments and restoration projects. Our ecologists have experience of restoring rivers and waterways, such as through our dead wood projects. We are also working in coastal areas and developing nature-based solutions that have the additional advantage of assisting with climate change adaptation and CO2 sequestration.

The sand source

One of our most forward-looking projects is the 'sand wing' (De Zandvleugel in Dutch) that uses the natural water flow in sand replenishment or dredging activities. We are working on this together with the Dutch government (Rijkswaterstaat, IKZ programme), Waterproof Marine Consultancy and Services, and the University of Groningen (RUG).