created the world except Holland. It was taken by its inhabitants from the
sea' This expression indicates why Dutch polder landscapes are so special
to people from abroad. The Dutch seem to care less. Most of the Dutch
prefer a tour through forest or heath lands that are very common outside
the Netherlands. The open, flat polder landscapes however are very
rare within Europe. Reclaimed lakes for example can hardly be found outside the
Netherlands. There is yet another fact that makes these landscapes special
within Europe. Dutch
were engaged as as developers, engineers and skilled workers with the
reclamation of similar landscapes outside Holland. This website describes these landscapes within The
Netherlands and abroad and the
policies for preservation and development.
Typical Dutch landscapes within European context
Describe characteristics of the Dutch
landscape within the international context. And distinguish the areas where
these characteristics are almost undamaged. The Dutch Nature Policy Assessment
a research to Alterra Green World Research in Wageningen to answer these
questions. This study distinguishes 22 landscape types based on features that
illustrate the history of these landscapes. Such as earth forms,
parcelling of agricultural land, forms of settlement, archeological sites and
historical buildings. Each landscape type was evaluated according to three criteria:
Is the landscape typical within the
Northwest European context: the percentage of a landscape type within
Northwest Europe located in the Netherlands. The map below shows the
results. The most important are the older reclaimed lakes, the fenland
reclamations, the older sea clay landscape and the inland dunes.
What is the degree of degradation of the
landscape: the percentage of the total area with deteriorated geomorphologic
features and parcelling
What is the uniqueness of the landscape
within the Netherlands: the percentage of the area of the landscape type
within the Netherlands
Dutch landscape conservation
a few years ago nature and landscape conservationist and scientists in the
Netherlands seem to bother just as little about alluvial landscapes as
Dutch people. Their preferences for Dutch landscapes were dominated by diversity
in species and landscape elements that relate to recreational or esthetical
values rather than their information value. During the last decade of the past
century things changed. The focus on the international context made clear that
the typical Dutch landscapes where those of dunes, polders, coasts and river
deltas. In 1997 the First Dutch Nature Survey showed that the Dutch
policies still excluded these landscapes in their protection plans. Since then
opinions and policies have changed. First of all a few typical Dutch
landscapes were nominated for Unesco World Heritage List by the Dutch
Unesco acknowledges the nomination of the Beemster, Schokland, the windmills of
Kinderdijk and the Defence line of Amsterdam. Other
nominees are Middag-Humsterland, the Noordoost Polder and the Dutch Water
defence Line. In 1996 historical geographers pleaded for the nomination of six
internationally typical landscapes. They are shown on the upper map. However
representatives of certain international important Dutch landscapes are still
missing in the Dutch list of nominees for the World Heritage List. The absence a
fen reclamations is the most obvious one. Fenland reclamations are the
archetypical landscape of Holland: windmills, cows and cheese.
Walking typical Dutch landscapes
A good way to get an impression of typical Dutch landscapes is walking.
Links on the map on the right lead you to walking tours with description, images
and further information.
Reclaimed tidal flats
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2000. Een nederlands watermerk op het cultureel erfgoed van de Europese Unie.
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Vervloet & W. Lammers. 2001. Neder-landschap Internationaal: bouwstenen
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G.J. Borger. 1996. Leven Verleden: een
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London : Methuen.
World Heritage Site