Netherlands: Nature & Wildlife
Although some national parks date back to the 1930s, the Dutch began laying out set requirements for national parks in the 1960s and have grown to include a network of 20 parks. Each has to be at least 10 square kilometres in size, covering areas of natural terrain, water or forests that host special landscapes or fauna. Some popular national parks include Schiermonnikoog National Park, Hoge Veluwe National Park, Oosterschelde National Park and Lauwersmeer National Park.
Schiermonnikoog National Park was given national park status in 1989. Located in the province of Friesland, it is one of six Dutch Wadden Islands. The park hosts a variety of landscapes including beaches, dunes, tidal flats and salt marshes. Although it is incredibly popular with the public, Schiermonnikoog is one of the best protected in the Netherlands. There are over 300 bird species in the park as well as many plant species, including 90 different types of orchids.
Initially a private estate in 1909, Hoge Veluwe National Park became a national park in 1935. It is located in the province of Gelderland and is one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the country. It is home to various species including red deer, roe deer, wild sheep, badgers, foxes, wild boar and more.
Oosterschelde National Park was designated as a protected space in 2002. With an area of 370 square kilometers (140 square miles), it is the largest national park in the Netherlands. Located in Zeeland, it is made up of the salt waters of the Oosterschelde estuary. Fishing, sailing, cycling and bird watching are popular attractions here. Scuba diving is also popular due to the sea life available in the park.
Found in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland, Lauwersmeer National Park is considered one of Western Europe’s most important bird sanctuaries. The reason for this is that many rare birds inhabit the park or come to the park in the winter to survive. Such birds include the Eurasian Spoonbill, Montagu’s Harrier and the Bearded Reedling. It became a national park in 2003 and covers 60 square kilometres (23 square miles), a great deal of which is the Lauwersmeer, a man-made lake.
Netherlands Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to the Netherlands.
Learn about the history and culture of the Netherlands, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about the Netherlands's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering the Netherlands for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Netherlands tours today!
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