National parks in the Netherlands were defined in the 1960s as areas of at least 10 km² consisting of natural terrains, water and/or forests, with a special landscape and flora and fauna.
The first two national parks were founded in the 1930s by private organisations. The first official national park, Schiermonnikoog National Park, was not established until 1989. The most recent national park to have been established is the Alde Feanen National Park, in April 2006. In 2009 the Weerribben national park was extended with the Wieden area, bringing the total area covered by national parks to 10.500 ha.
In 2011, the government decided to make the provinces responsible for the national parks.