Richel

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For the boxer, see Richel Hersisia
Location of Richel in the Wadden Sea

Richel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɪɣəl] ( ); English: Ridge), or rather De Richel (The Ridge), is a permanently dry sandbank in the Wadden Sea, in the gap between the Dutch islands of Vlieland and Terschelling. It is located about 1 kilometer east of the northernmost point of Vlieland and is administered by the municipality of Vlieland. The sandbank has an average surface area of 116 hectares. [1] It is completely flooded only during extremely high tides. [2]

The island is primarily known as the most important breeding place in the Wadden Sea for Grey Seals.[3] More than 300 pups are born on Richel in winter. In summer seals seem to prefer areas more sheltered from human contact. The sandbank is also important as a breeding and feeding area for Ringed Plovers, Kentish Plovers, Little Terns and other bird species.

Richel is uninhabited and virtually barren. It is too low to support any permanent vegetation. [4] The sandbank is only able to support some temporary colonisation by the grass species Sand Couch (Elytrigia juncea).

The ferry between Harlingen and Vlieland passes by Richel, making a detour around the sandbank. During low tide, it is possible to walk to the sandbank from Vlieland (see mudflat hiking) although Richel is off-limits to humans due to its importance as a nature area. Boat trips from Vlieland used to be organised daily during the summer tourist season to observe the seal population on Richel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ VVV Vlieland
  2. ^ Milieudefensie (Dutch)
  3. ^ http://www.we-at-sea.org/index.php?keuze=r1222005-006
  4. ^ ZeeInZicht: guide to the Wadden Sea, the coast and the North Sea

Coordinates: 53°17′30″N 5°08′00″E / 53.29167°N 5.13333°E / 53.29167; 5.13333