Large grazers

Wide-open landscape

Characteristic for the Lauwersmeer National Park is the open and wide landscape, which is attractive for many - sometimes rare - animals and plants. The shallow waters and the muddy banks offer a well-stocked larder for thousands of waders and ducks. The green grasslands are particularly popular with geese and meadowland birds. The extensive reed beds provide nesting areas for rare marshland birds such as the bittern and the bearded tit.

(c) foto: Jörgen de Bruin

(c) foto: Jörgen de Bruin

Marshy woodland

The open and extensive landscape with its accompanying flora and fauna is the reason for the area's designation as National Park. And yet the future of the exceptional natural and landscape values is not guaranteed. Since the closure of the Lauwers Sea (1969), in fact, nature in the Lauwersmeer area has undergone tremendous changes. And this continual development places ever more pressure on the exceptional values as regards nature and landscape. For instance, trees and bushes are making even greater inroads; the area is overrun with plants. And that at the expense of the shallow, open water, the muddy banks, the grassland areas and the extensive reed beds with their often unusual species.

Natural mowers

This is the reason why the Forestry Commission decided to employ some natural 'lawnmowers': Scottish Highland cattle and Konik horses and - in the summer - cows and horses belonging to local farmers. They make efforts to keep the landscape open. When visiting the Kollumerwaard or the Zoutkamperplaat, chances are you may come suddenly face to face with Highland cattle and/or Konik horses.

(c) foto: Arjan Woertink