Military exercise area

After the closure of the Lauwers Sea the Marnewaard was set up as an area for military exercises. There is a firing range for tanks, and the exercise village of Marnehuizen was constructed. The exercise village is designed to train troops to control urban areas before being sent off to war. The area has been largely raised up higher with sand and provided with a drainage system.

Deer, mice and birds of prey

Despite these major interventions and the military exercises, many interesting animals can be seen in this area. During particularly wet periods many animals in the National Park seek a safe haven in the Marnewaard. Go for a walk there at sunrise - and stay downwind! You are sure to see deer, rabbits and hares and perhaps even a fox! Birds of prey, such as goshawk, buzzard and marsh harrier can also be seen here.

Sand martins

There is also a sand martin bank in the Marnewaard. This is a steep-sided wall of sand in which the martins dig tunnels for their nests. Hundreds of pairs of martins breed here! May and June are very busy here, with martins flying to and fro. In September they leave once again, back to tropical Africa.

Free access

Except during military exercises, the Marnewaard is accessible on the roads and paths. You are not allowed to be there:

• between sunset and sunrise
• on bicycle or horseback except on the routes indicated
• with dogs not on the lead
• in or on a motor vehicle