Tag Archives: polder

Geese in the Dutch landscape

The Netherlands is a home for geese like nowhere else in Europe, according to the Dutch museum of nature Ecomare. Every year over 2 million of them arrive at the start of the winter from colder, northern areas to feed on Dutch pastures. Living on a green and lush polder, a typical Dutch bit of reclaimed land, I see the geese arrive in their impressive V formations and enjoy listening to their honking sounds. In the past, their arrival marked the season of frost (the V formation reminded people of the Dutch word for frost: vorst). As the climate changes, this is no longer the case and more geese don’t bother leaving the Netherlands: they stay here during the summer as well.


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Living on reclaimed land

Large parts of the Netherlands are polders: reclaimed land consisting of drained wetlands. Having mostly been used as pastures some of these areas of grassy land, lakes, ditches, reed lands, and swamps have become natural reserves. This map of 1901 shows the polder I live in: Botshol, reclaimed in the late 18th century, and now a reserve of the Society for preservation of nature monuments.

Botshol 1901

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