By Michel De Muelenaere
It happens that nature patiently waits for humans to step aside to take its place. In the vicinity of Bernissart (west of Mons), the present is filled with memories of the coalmining past. Former mines and pumping stations, corons, slag heaps, museums, toponyms… many things are reminiscent of coal mining. In hollow, the marsh is also a heritage of this time. When the mines were abandoned in 1964, the men stopped pumping the water which constantly invaded the galleries. Successive collapses in the basement caused the subsidence of the ground on the surface and the formation of basins. The rise in the water table has completed the transformation of the area into three large bodies of water.
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