Perhaps no other region has such a high density of country houses and castles as Flanders (the northern part of Belgium). Historically, this region has always been one of the most densely populated regions in Europe. In comparison to most other regions, Flanders was characterized by a high density of smaller scale estates - many of them several hundreds of hectares in size. Over the course of the last centuries, this situation has slowly changed. These properties are now much smaller and much more fragmented. The link to the following newspaper article gives some insights to the issues that privately owned estates in Flanders are nowadays facing. It is based on an interview with two estate managers and the research team at the University College Ghent. The article is available in both Dutch and French.
The Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde estate in Bornem, Belgium (photograph: Steven Heyde)