The Dutch are specialists in creating nature. A lot of Dutch nature that exists today is a result of cultural activities in the past. Two of our National Parks illustrate this: land once used for peat exploitation is now managed as a freshwater wetland. Land that was too intensively used for cattle farming transformed to a sandy desert.
More recently, other types of land have been transformed to nature to support flora and fauna. New ecological corridors were designed to make migration possible and create more robust ecosystems, which benefit humans as well. The world’s longest wildlife overpass is located in the middle of the country. The artificial islands of Marker Wadden are the most recent example of nature that was designed and created by the Dutch.
Oostvaarderplassen: one tick of your big five list
Another man-made nature reserve is Nature Reserve the Oostvaardersplassen. Located in the new land of Flevoland, this reserve is one of the most interesting as well one of the largest man-made nature reserves to be found in the Netherlands. But that’s just one of its features! You can cross this reserve by train and enjoy the magnificent views over the steppe like area. From your train seat you can spot large groups of red deer – that’s already one tick of your Dutch big five list – as well as wild Konik horses and Heck cattle.