Plants and animals
The static hedgerows are a rigid and unyielding element in this otherwise fluid landscape.
The authentic hedgerows in the Maasheggen, which both divide and connect, have stood in place for ages. Seed from seed, branch from root, they have outlived even our oldest buildings. They are an invaluable source of genetic material of various trees, shrubs, and plants.
The common hawthorn is the most prominent within the hedgerows, although the woodland hawthorn is also present. Other distinct flora of this area are; common ash, field maple, spindle trees, rowan trees, common dogwood, guelder rose, and various wild rose species. The woodland tulip is another remarkable resident.
Noteworthy bird species are the common whitethroat, lesser whitethroat and common redstart. The hedgerows also form a valuable habitat for others; hedge warblers, robins, wrens, bullfinches, yellowhammers and various tits are among those that can be found here year-round. Little owls nest in the holes and crevices of old pollard trees, and long-eared owls commonly winter within the maze of thorny shrubs.
Furthermore, many amphibians find their way in and around the various ponds and puddles.
Badgers also roam the area. In the ‘80s the Maasheggen was the prime nursery for the entire badger population of the province of Noord-Brabant.
The State Forestry Department is currently working on improving and expanding the habitats of five key species. Namely, the little owl, the partridge, the northern crested newt, the red-backed shrike (a bird) and the brown hairstreak (a butterfly)