Sonja Deneve

Joined: Apr 01, 2020 Last Active: Aug 05, 2020

Ever since my childhood, I have been fascinated by nature, both flora and fauna. Spiders and Amphibians I find particularly interesting. Roses are also one of my favourites. As a Nature guide and Botanic Garden Guide I enjoy sharing my wildlife enthusiasm when guiding school classes as well as adults. Living in the north of Belgium, where wildlife is disappearing at an alarming pace, I find it of utmost importance to increase local people's consciousness about safeguarding what is left of our typical natural environment. I have a keen interest in Salix, having a private small salicetum. Also, I try to seize citizen-science opportunities where possible. In this context, I inspired and participated in the creation in 2019 of a Salicetum in the city of Mechelen (Vrijbroekpark, 'De Wilgernis') with some 100 different Salix taxa from all over the world. In 2019, I organised, at Meise Botanic Garden, the first International Salicaceae Symposium since 1991. My ongoing project is the safeguarding of a plot of land that was (illegally) used as a dump, on which different Salix-taxa have been growing for several decades, one of the oldest ones being Salix euxina, a rather rare species in the North of Belgium. So far authorities have been quite good in responding to my actions. But this particular struggle is not over yet! Botanic Gardens are my favorite (vacation) targets: Kew (London), Florence, Graz, Uppsala, Helsinki, Moscow, St. Petersburg - I warmly recommend them.

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