Skaters take to the ice as big freeze continues

With the freezing temperatures set to continue into the weekend, the ice on more lakes is becoming thick enough for skating.

The KNSB skating union keeps a track of where outdoor rinks and frozen lakes are open to skaters and says extreme caution is still needed in many places, as the strong eastern winds have made the ice unreliable.

Amsterdam water board Waternet is warning that the ice on the city’s canals is not yet thick enough, even though a few people have already tested out their skates on the Keizersgracht.

And the Parool reported on Thursday afternoon that one person had gone through the ice on the city’s Prinsengracht canal.

The strong winds have led to the cancellation of at least 39 flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport because of limits to runway capacity.

Meanwhile, the province of Flevoland has decided to provide extra food for the deer, horses and cattle living in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve, despite saying earlier that nature should be allowed to take its course.

Several people have been fined for taking hay to the animals. ‘By temporarily allowing extra feeding, the province aims to limit unease among the general public,’ Flevoland said in a statement.

The KNMI weather bureau says the freezing temperatures will continue into Saturday, but by Sunday it will be above zero during the day. There may also be some snow on Friday and Saturday, the KNMI said.