The “Naardermeer” was the first area in the Netherlands that received – in 1905 - the status of nature reserve. It is an important wetland within the ecological network of the country, as well as within the Natura 2000 network. The wetland is owned and managed - already for more than 100 years - by the NGO Natuurmonumenten. Since its establishment, the surroundings of the protected wetland became densely populated and transport infrastructure isolated and divided the nature reserve. In the last 30 years different governmental organizations and NGOs realised a variety of defragmentation measures to restore landscape connectivity and enhance wildlife movements through the area. Consequently, the Naardermeer wetland is currently reconnected with neighbouring wetlands, which are all also part of the Natura 2000 network. And the measures seem to work. Vulnerable wildlife species returned to the area or strengthened their populations, such as the grass snake, moorfrog, otter and pine marten.

Defragmentation measures within wetlands is a common practice in the Netherlands. During the field trip we will show you and discuss a variety of challenges we had to deal with in this area and the measures we have taken to address these challenges. Furthermore, we will inform you about the fruitful cooperation between governmental agencies, NGOs and volunteers. The field trip starts at Fort Uitermeer. Here we will present details on the construction of two large underpasses that reconnect the Naardermeer and Ankeveen wetlands. Volunteers will show you the results of a monitoring project in which camera traps were used. After a closer look to one of the underpasses, we will continue the field trip and take you to the spot where the river Vecht crosses the six-lane motorway A1 via an aquaduct with plenty of room for wildlife corridors. After that we will have lunch in restaurant Stadzigt on the edge of the reserve, where we will inform you about the citizen science project “Wild spotter”. Then we are going on a boat tour! Natuurmonumenten will tell you about the management of the marshes. ProRail, responsible for the railroad that crosses the reserve, will present details on the defragmentation measures they have taken to mitigate impacts of the railroad. We will finish our field trip in restaurant Stadzigt, where engineering company Movares will show you details on the experimental project ‘Hollow sleepers’ – an innovative measure that allow small animals to cross railway tracks safely.

Time of departure:    8:00

Time of return:          18:00

Duration:                    9:00 h

Transportation by:     bus, foot, boat

Capacity:                     50

Key words:                  wetland, aquaduct wildlife underpass

Organization:              Province Noord-Holland, in collaboration with Natuurmonumenten, ProRail,
                                     Movares and the Dutch Mammal Society.