Spotting kingfishers next to castle walls
The Herbertusbossen are named after Herbertus, the first lord of Heeze, Leende and Zesgehuchten. The castle in its present state dates back to 1670. When standing in front of the imposing building, one should realise that it was originally intended as a 'front building' for an even grander residence. The austere style of the outside (Renaissance) contrasts greatly with the impressive luxury of the inside. Tours of the interior of the castle are possible by appointment. In the neighbouring forest the Sterkselsche Aa has free reign. The strongly meandering brook continually undermines its banks and causes trees to topple. This is a welcome development for kingfishers as the resulting lumps make for suitable 'shores' to build their nests every year. Those who want to spot a kingfisher must be patient and quiet. But for them that do eventually spot it, it's like hitting the jackpot.
The beautiful Herbertusbossen are home to high-rising deciduous and coniferous trees. The area of 860 acres borders the Strabrechtse Heide and the De Lange Bleek estate near Sterksel. The estate previously belonged to Heeze Castle, but has been part of the Brabants Landschap organisation since 1973.