Eelder and Peizen Made
Natuurmonumenten (Nature Conservation), the Province of Drenthe, Water Board Noorderzijlvest, the municipalities and Staatsbosbeheer (National Forest Service), Dienst Landelijk Gebied (Government Service for Sustainable Rural Development)
The project aims to combine water storage with nature development as well as improve agricultural structure. Land consolidation and ground redevelopment create:
- a sustainable, climate-proof solution for flooding in the city of Groningen;
- sound development of the Peizer- and Eelder Maden water storage area and nature reserve;
- restoration of the upper reaches of the Eelderdiep, so that more water can be retained (sponge effect) and the natural river environment can restore itself;
- strengthening the agricultural structure for the remaining enterprises.
The project covers an area of 2,000 hectares. Project implementation started in 2007 and will have to be completed in 2012.
Dry feet for Groningen
The project increases the water-retention and storage capacity of the planning area. This will reduce the incidence of flooding in Groningen and surroundings, without the need for technical measures. The restoration of the Eelderdiep’s upper reaches plays a key role in this respect. By stripping off the surface layer around the river and removing wharfs, the river banks will be lower. The nutrient-rich farmland makes way for wet, marshy overwash forest. This slows down water drainage. By digging deeper locally, open water is created and old meanders will become visible again.
Better agricultural structure
The project contributes to an improved agricultural structure outside the nature reserve. In addition, the recreational infrastructure will be improved, which will include new walking and cycling paths. On the more elevated ground around the villages, a natural, man-made landscape will be created with wooded banks, old sand tracks, ash trees and flowering grasslands. Plants and animals will certainly benefit from these plans. The lowlands offer space for wet and damp grasslands and a mosaic of accretion processes with open water, bogs, brushwood and marsh forests. The project connects the existing nature reserves around Leekstermeer-Zuidlaardermeer with those of Zeijen-Zeegse-Eelde. Larger areas offer species a far great opportunity to adjust to the effects of climate change.
Implementation has already commenced. The province and the water board are supporting the project. The agricultural sector is also positively inclined. In 2007, investigations took place to explore the possibility of acquiring the additional 45 hectares of ground required, and apparently this will be achieved in the short term.