National park Dwingelderveld, Dwingeloo

#1 of 7 in Wildlife in Drenthe Province
Must see · National Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
Dwingelderveld National Park is a National park in the Dutch province of Drenthe, founded in 1991. The park covers about 37km2 and is mainly managed by the State Forest Service (Staatsbosbeheer) and the most important Dutch private nature management organisation Natuurmonumenten. It is the largest wet heathland of Western-Europe. Dwingelderveld is also designated as a Natura 2000-area.
Dwingelderveld was used by early inhabitants for religious purposes and agriculture. Celtic fields and burial mounds are still clearly recognizable in the field. Later the area was used as a transport route from Germany to the Netherlands, some of the old trails can still be found in the National Park. Nevertheless, the area has never been used intensively by humans. In the 1930s, there were reclamation plans, but nature conservation organisations purchased a part of the area to save it. Other parts have been in use for forestry.
The most characteristic features of the park are the large heath lands. The structure of the terrain is quite varied with relatively high sandy hills and wet lower parts, including many fens. Some of these fens are pingo-ruins from the last glacial.
In former days the heath was in use as a part of the agricultural system. At present it is not the case anymore so new ways have to be found to keep the heath in its present condition and to prevent the growth of trees. Sheep are still in use - there is a sheepfold in the park, but also cows are used to graze, and special machines are developed to manage the heath. In the park, one of largest Dutch juniper thickets can be found.
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  • First time visit to the dwingelderveld, and straight in at the top of our list of Dutch natural parks to hike wit the kids. Very beautiful walk with varied landscape and windy paths full of reveal...  more »
  • The area is well sustained and there are a lot of marked pathhes. You cab walk for 5-6 hours. As the area is protected for water winning you can find explanation panels on the way.  more »
  • Beautiful modern wooden building with nice and interesting garden, spacious interior with cosy sitting area with self-service coffee, tea, biscuits, etc.
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  • Here are beautiful walks
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