Dikes

In many places around the Eastern Scheldt the dike lining consists of stone, concrete blocks and basalt columns. This dyke lining provides an artificial rocky coastline. This rocky coastline and the relatively high water temperature have invited plants and animals to the Eastern Scheldt that are not seen elsewhere in the Netherlands. You do see them in Brittany and on the south coast of England. Between the stones, plants and animals find sufficient shelter and food. They can also attach themselves to the stones.

 

Many plants and animals have adapted to the extreme conditions in the Eastern Scheldt. After all, at low tide, certain dike sections fall dry and have to protect themselves against sun, fresh water – in the case of rain - and light.

 

Some of them are in an excellent position to do so, such as the barnacle. The barnacle seals itself completely at low tide to prevent dehydration. Animals and plants that are sensitive to dehydration, light and freshwater also live below the waterline at low tide. 

 

The dikes are the domain for birds such as the ruddy turnstone. He picks small shellfish in between the stones with his beak. Silver gulls use the dikes as forges. They destroy oyster and mussel shells on the stone so that they can eat the tasty contents.