Nov 30, 2023 at 4:27 p.m
Nature in the Amsterdam Waterleidingduinen is recovering. The increase in fallow deer in that area put nature under pressure. But after a grazing ban, recovery is progressing, according to the first research results from drinking water company PWN.
More plant species grow in the area, the researchers tell NH News. This includes the (dune) dandelion, false sage, real bitterweed, wild cardinal’s hat and three thistle.
Plants and flowers also grow longer, making them taller in areas where animals are no longer allowed to graze. This is not the case in areas where there is no grazing ban.
In 2019, 23 areas in the Waterleidingduinen and the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park were cordoned off in which fallow deer, horses and cattle were no longer allowed to graze. The deposits must provide protection for the dune areas and shrubs.
Yet there are differences between the areas. There has always been less overgrazing in South Kennemerland than in the Waterleidingduinen. There, the researchers mainly see rougher growth of plants and shrubs in areas where grazing is prohibited. There is a clear advantage in the Waterleidingduinen.
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More butterflies and bees due to an increase in flowers
The researchers have not yet seen an increase in insects such as ants and grasshoppers. This is because the animals react more slowly and cannot survive in unfavorable places. The insects therefore have to look for restorative parts of nature and reinstall themselves there.
The Waterleidingduinen see more butterflies, bumblebees and bees. This is because many more flowers bloom in areas where grazing is prohibited.
The investigation has not yet been completed. At the end of next year, the researchers also want to examine the soil quality in the nature reserves. Special measurements allow them to better understand the effects of grazing on the dune ecosystem.