The measures

A range of measures is intended to ensure that the diversity of plant and animal species on the Sallandse Heuvelrug is preserved and enhanced.

Expansion of the heathland

Parts of the forest are felled in certain spots along the edge of the heathland. We are making way for new heathland by removing trees and the top layer of soil, so that the existing hethland is once again connected to the surrounding landscape. This will enlarge the habitat of many species and makes food-rich farmland in the outlying areas accessible again. Please note that we will not remove all trees: those trees that define the landscape or are otherwise characteristic to their surroundings will remain. In addition, the area to the east of the Ligtenbergerweg (the Zunasche Heide) will be further developed into an open peatland, so that the original connection between both areas is restored. Herb-rich meadows will also be created in several places. These meadows will be a splendid sight when in bloom, but more importantly: they will be a food paradise and a habitat for all manner of insects, birds and other animals.

Animated explanation of the measures by Wout Kok

The 3D video below is a general outline of which parts (purple) will be transformed from forest to heathland. The work will be carried out in phases over the next few years.

Peat cutting, mowing and burning on the existing heathland The Society for the Preservation of Nature and the Dutch Forest Management Agency are carrying out measures in some parts of the forest that visitors are already used to seeing, such as peat cutting, mowing and burning on the existing heathland. This work is done to preserve the heathland and to enhance its quality. If not properly managed, heathland slowly turns into forest. Besides, biodiversity (variation in plant and animal species) benefits from both old, tall heather and young, low heather. The old heather offers a safe habitat for ground-breeding birds, Young heather attracts all kinds of insects that look after pollination and serve as food for birds and lizards. Herds of sheep are used in several places to maintain the heathland.

Adding lime

The existing heathland is terribly acidified in certain places. Research shows that the soil is currently as acidic as household vinegar. This means few insects and plants can survive here. In order to restore the mineral balance of the soil, the Dutch Forest Management Agency and the Society for the Preservation of Nature will lime certain areas. This is done by sprinkling rock dust over parts of the heathland.

Adding black grouse

Nature reacts slowly to remedial measures. The black grouse hasn’t got time to wait. Now that sustainable expansion and enhancement of the habitat are in sight, it has been decided that more black grouse should be added over the next few years, to bridge the period required for the Salland heathland to recover sufficiently. After all, once black grouse populations become extinct in the area, they cannot be brought back. The ultimate goal is a black grouse population that can sustain itself eventually.

How did the plans come about?

The measures for the Sallandse Heuvelrug were drawn up after harmonisation with the administrative partners and social organisations in the region.

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