New EUROPARC Podcast on Dynamic Dune management in The Netherlands!

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In this podcast, EUROPARC’s Communciations Manager Esther Bossink is joined by Myrthe Fonck of PWN. Together they explore an innovative project in The Netherlands that revitalised the dune landscape in National Park Zuid-Kennemerland, The Netherlands. The podcast was recorded end of 2023.

Making dunes mobile again!

Myrthe Fonck on a sand covered bicycle lane, Zuid-Kennemerland. By Neil McIntosh

Over 10 years ago, the Dutch Dune Revival project set out to bring natural dynamics back into the dunes. These coastal areas in The Netherlands are unique. Typically, the dunes are very broad and stretch almost along the entire coastal line. Furthermore, the Dutch dunes are of great importance for the grey dune habitat — also on a European scale.

However, as the main function of dunes became coastal defence, dunes were ‘fixed’ by the planting of marram grass. This prevented wind, sand, and salt to shape the dunes and create dynamic, natural processes. As a result, the dune areas degraded and biodiversity suffered.

So, how to solve this in a country that has 26% of its land located below sea level, without risking the coastal safety? Ecologists in National Park Zuid-Kennemerland came up with a seemingly contradictory plan: create five large openings within the first row of dunes. Opening up the dunes this way allowed sand to blow into the dune system and allowed for natural processes to take place again and rejuvenate the area.

Over 10 years later, the results are in: healthy, resilient and ‘moving’ dunes, where biodiversity thrives. Recreating these natural processes even helped combat the nitrogen deposition in the area, which is one of the main threats to nature in The Netherlands.

Learn more about this Nature-based Solution where different actors came together to create a better result for nature and for people, in this new episode of EUROPARC’s podcast “Voices from the Parks”.

You can also find us on Spotify!

Future-proofing the Dutch dune area

In National Park Zuid-Kennermerland, PWN strives to create natural spaces that are future-proof. The dynamic dune management improves biodiversity, but also supports the area in adapting to climate change. If you want to learn more about climate change adaptation s methods in the Dutch dunes, check out this Climate Talks episode, created within the LIFE Natur’Adapt project.

EUROPARC Podcasts ‘Voices from the Parks’ is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor CINEA can be held responsible for them.