Former agricultural area transformed into protected ‘damp heath’

Former agricultural land transformed into moist heathland on Strabrechtse Heide
Photo credit: Staatsbosbeheer/Studio040

A large piece of former agricultural land is transformed into moist heathland in the autumn and in that capacity becomes part of Strabrechtse Heide.

The agricultural use of the land stopped in the 1980s, when Staatsbosbeheer (state forestry department) took possession of the land. Small adjustments have previously been made to the area, but in October a large-scale intervention will take place to create ‘moist heath’ – a protected area species.

To achieve this, the top layer – 10 to 15 centimetres – is dug away from the ground. This causes the area to be lower. Because ditches in the area are being filled in with earth, the area must retain more water. The water won’t flow away so fast anymore. In addition, measures will be taken to remove nutrients from the soil to give the heathland the opportunity to grow. Heath thrives better in low nutrient soil.

450 bus loads

The work will involve excavating approximately 10,000 cubic metres of soil – approximately 450 bus loads full. Staatsbosbeheer announces that no village centres are crossed when the soil is removed. A bird watching hut will also be built as part of the project. The money for this was raised through a crowdfunding campaign.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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