Dutch national parks will be given a one-off €6m subsidy between them for promotion and to make the parks more attractive to visitors, the agriculture ministry has announced.
The Netherlands presently has 21 national parks, including the Hoge Veluwe, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and the Wadden island of Schiermonnikoog.
‘People enjoy nature and are touched by it, agriculture minister Carla Schouten said in a letter to parliament in which she set out her intention. ‘But nature is vulnerable too and deserves our attention and protection.’
The money, which will be made available between 2020 and 2022, will be spent on innovative projects. ‘We are very happy,’ Jori Wolf of the National Park Bureau told the AD. ‘In the last few years much has been done to promote the parks. In other countries national parks attract a lot of tourists. That’s what we want in the Netherlands too.’
One of the bureau’s objectives is to turn the dune area in Zuid Holland into a national park. ‘We would like to see a green corridor there from The Hague train station to the dunes so you’ll be in the park the minute you get off the train,’ Wolf said.
Other projects include creating more biodiversity by supporting sustainable agriculture in the Drentsche Aa national park and highlighting the recreational possibilities offered by parks such as the Biesbosch and Lauwersmeer, which have already started a campaign to raise public awareness.
‘The parks must acquire an air of grandeur, that’s what we’re aiming for,’ Wolf said. ‘They tell the story of Dutch nature. You could look upon them as the Rembrandt paintings of the natural environment.’
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