Photography and filming in the Zwin Nature Park

Photography and filming in the Zwin Nature Park

Any organisation or individual wishing to film/take photos for professional/commercial purposes in the Zwin Nature Park must obtain prior permission to do so.

The Zwin is an important nature reserve, with nationally/internationally protected status for a wide range of species and habitats. In some cases, the consequences of filming/photography may be detrimental to animals and plants in this area, which is why the risks must always be carefully weighed.                           

Each request for a film/photo shoot is different. That is why the managers of the Zwin nature area (the Province of West Flanders and the Flanders Agency for Nature and Forests) make a separate assessment of every request. They give their final approval providing specific conditions have been met.

The managers of the Zwin nature area maintain the right to refuse permission for filming/photography if it is deemed not to be consistent with the Zwin’s image or when nature might be compromised or the safety and/or the comfort of visitors can no longer be guaranteed. They do not need to justify their decision to the applicant.

The applicant must contact the Zwin Nature Park. A map is appended on which the applicant must indicate the desired location(s) for the filming/photography.

1. Situation

The Zwin nature area comprises the following subareas/infrastructure:

  • Zwin park and hut trail;
  • Kleyne plain;
  • Zwin plain;
  • Beach and dunes;
  • The Zwin Nature Park's visitor centre;
  • Panoramic tower;
  • Multi-purpose spaces of the Zwin Nature Park;
  • Observation centre;
  • NEC (Nature Education Centre);
  • Car park.

2. Conditions for filming / photography

General terms and conditions

The general terms and conditions set out below apply to all filming/photography in the Zwin nature area.

  1. A photo shoot must be requested at least 7 working days in advance. Filming must be requested at least 14 working days in advance. The request for a permit must be submitted using the application form on the website.
  2. If necessary, the Zwin Nature Park may suggest a prior site visit. The applicant will be accompanied by an employee of the Zwin Nature Park during the site visit.
  3. Filming/photography is only allowed once an agreement has been signed by both the applicant and the Zwin Nature Park.
  4. The rental fee and the guarantee must be paid in full before filming starts.
  5. Filming/photography is only permitted after the Zwin Nature Park has given written authorisation for this. This written authorisation will only be granted after full payment has been made and after the Zwin Nature Park has received the mutually signed agreement.

Specific terms and conditions

If filming/photography is authorised, the specific terms and conditions set out below will apply to the photo/film shoot in the Zwin nature area. The specific terms and conditions must be complied with at all times during the film/photo shoot.

  1. Upon arrival on the day of the film/photo shoot, the applicant must report to the reception of the Zwin Nature Park; After filming/photography is completed, the applicant must sign out at reception;
  2. The film/photo shoot may not cause any disruption for other visitors of the Zwin nature area;
  3. No objects may be moved or manipulated in the Zwin nature area during the film/photo shoot;
  4. The animals and vegetation in the Zwin nature area must be respected at all times. This means that:                        a. No animals may be captured, killed or disturbed;                                                                                                        b. No plants or vegetation may be picked or destroyed.
  5. No rolling objects, such as bicycles, rollerblades, etc., (excluding prams and wheelchairs) may be used during the film/photo shoot unless otherwise agreed and stipulated in the agreement.
  6. Upon publication of the result of the film/photo shoot, the location must always be listed, i.e., the Zwin Nature Park and - where possible - a reference added to the website
  7. After the film/photo shoot, a copy of the result must be provided to the Zwin Nature Park. A link to social media must also be provided where applicable; send it  to [email protected]
  8. All the terms and conditions that are listed in the police regulations of the Province of West Flanders and the municipality of Knokke-Heist must be complied with. The following matters must specifically be taken into account:
    a. You may not spend the night in the Zwin Nature Park or in the car park. There are no exceptions to this rule.
    b. Drones are forbidden.
  9. All the terms and conditions in the user regulations of the Zwin Nature Park must be observed. The following matters must especially be taken into account:
    a. There can be no visits to the Zwin Nature Park before sunrise and after sunset. During this time, no cars may be parked in the car park.
    b. Filming outside the opening hours is allowed on condition that this is expressly provided for in the agreement because an employee of the Zwin nature area must be on hand during the shoot. You must stay on the roads and paths in the nature area. You may not have access to the entire area.

The complete police regulations and usage rules are published on the website.
Anyone found filming/taking photos without prior permission will be reported by the managers. A daily fee will be charged for every recorded violation.

If violations are reported during the photo/film shoot, including but not limited to violations against nature legislation, the relevant inspectorates will be notified.

3. Rates for fiming/photography

The following rates apply for various types of film/photo shoots. The rates are exclusive of VAT.

  1. Photo shoot for advertising/publicity: 800 euros/half day
  2. Film shoot for a TV series or film: 750 euros/day
  3. Film shoot for advertising/publicity: 1500 euros/day
  4. Preparation (set-up/dismantling): 50% of the day rate
  5. Wedding/communion photo shoot on the paths: admission fee Zwin Nature Park: 12 euros/person (no guarantee) at the ticket office.
  6. Guarantee of 500 euros for a photo shoot and 1500 euros for a film shoot to be paid in full. This amount may be increased if there are specific risks associated with the shoot. This will be set out in the agreement. The Zwin Nature Park will make an evaluation after the film/photo shoot and will provide feedback to the applicant. Based on the outcome of this evaluation, the guarantee will be reimbursed to the applicant in whole or in part.
  7. Parking spaces in the car park: 5 euros per vehicle per day (if large trucks occupy several spaces, these will also be charged to the applicant).

Optional/on request:
Rental of an available space in the Nature Education Centre (NEC) of the Zwin Nature Park to store material or be used as a dressing room: 300 euros/day. (subject to availability)
On-set presence of a Zwin Nature Park employee during the shoot in the park: 150 euros/half day

Additional charges may apply. These depend on the applicant’s specific requirements or on the project’s scope. The charges will be set out in the agreement mentioned above.

If infrastructure in the Zwin nature area is damaged during the photo/film shoot, and the damage cannot be covered by (part of) the guarantee, the applicant will be required to pay compensation for this damage.

4. Special conditions for students

Students wishing to film/take photos as part of their training must also submit an application. If their project is deemed feasible by the Zwin Nature Park, they will receive a permit and will only be required to pay admission to the Zwin Nature Park (12 euros/person for every person involved in the shoot: crew, cast...). The applicant will be required to show their student card on the day of the shoot at reception.

The terms and conditions mentioned above also apply to filming as part of a student’s training. Special terms and conditions may be imposed in the agreement.


Contact Deborah Ghys with all questions relating to filming/photography [email protected]

Marianne Brusselle is the media relations officer and the contact for publications for promotional purposes: [email protected]