The Schipgatduinen are a precious but vulnerable nature reserve of 45 hectares.The dune reserve starts on the beach and extends to the street "Koninklijkebaan". This street separates the Schipgatduinen from the nature reserve Doornpanne. There is no paved seadike in this place, this is a very important natural factor. Theoretically speaking, the dunes already start on the beach where small embryonic dunes are formed. Due to the tourist activity, you can hardly see anything of this early develompent. The present dunes are relatively young. It covers a deep hollow that is the relic of a cove that only silted up fully during the Middle Ages. The pan is a damp area and is regularly flooded with fresh water. Infiltration of the rainwater is impossible because of a thick layer of sediment. This is why you can find a typical fresh water flora there.