The so-called recreational zoning plan has been worked on for Veloy for years. On Tuesday afternoon, planners will show how they think recreational flows can be distributed across the 88,000 hectares of nature in the Veluwe. It is already clear that more space is needed for nature, especially on and near sand drifts such as Hulshorsterzand, Kootwijkerzand and Beekhuizerzand. Hiking trails there are closed in any case during the breeding season. The tracks are also moved to give space for special species such as snake and wheat.
The county hopes that the cooperation will ensure a better distribution of pressure on the biodiversity of Philiwe. So far, crowds have often been moving when an area is closed. According to the county government, “administration is necessary with eight thousand landowners in twelve municipalities.” The county will make a final decision on actions in Filloy early next year.
Veluwe Nature Reserve is divided into four regions. Along the edges there is a place for recreation, restaurants and visitors. But the parts are also closed to make way for a very vulnerable nature. In part of that area, walking, cycling or horse riding is still permitted outside the breeding season. Other pieces are really reserved. A number of properties in the country and defense sites have already been closed.
According to the County of Gelderland, nature managers, municipalities and landowners, interventions are necessary to conserve nature in Filloy for the future. If nothing is done now, species of birds, reptiles, and some plants will be gone forever. Dividing the Veluwe is a necessity, so residents and visitors can enjoy it in 30 years’ time, says regional official Peter van ‘t Hoog. Veluwe is the most popular domestic holiday destination.
Veluwe is also the largest contiguous nature reserve in the Netherlands and is under European protection. Long-term research has shown that dune suckers, woodchucks, carpenters, sand lizards and vipers, among others, are struggling or have already disappeared. Sand drifts on the northern side of the nature reserve are particularly vulnerable. There are also closed parts. In other places, paths and roads are shifted or removed.
Plans to reorganize Veluwe have already caused a lot of uproar. “The intense discussions helped find a good balance,” says Van ‘t Hoog. The county now emphasizes that Veloy remains “accessible and enjoyable,” not just everywhere. The final decision will be made early next year.
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