Sallandse Heuvelrug National Park
|Heuvelrug National Park|
Panorama of the Ridge of Salland
Map of the National Park
|Nearest city||Nijverdal, Holten|
|Area||35 km2 (14 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Staatsbosbeheer, Natuurmonumenten|
Sallandse Heuvelrug National Park is a national park in the Dutch province of Overijssel, founded in 2004. The park is mainly managed by Staatsbosbeheer, Natuurmonumenten and the water company Vitens. In addition, several small particular owners are involved in the management, as well as regional communities and stakeholders.
Landscape and history
The Sallandse heuvelrug is a moraine, created in the one but last glaciation, Saalien, 150.000 years ago. During the Holocene forests started to develop, but after the growth of the human population, these forests had been cut. From the Middle Ages onwards the area was used for grazing by sheep and goat, and the upper layer of the soil was removed to use it as fertilizer for the crop fields. In this period, the area became a heathland because of sand-drifting. In the beginning of the 20th century the state started forestry programms, to prevent this erosion and to produce pine wood. The area is well known for its scenery because of its relatively large heathlands.
Vegetation and wildlife
Most characteristic features of the national park are the relief and the heath lands. Cranberry growths in large numbers. We also find the last Dutch population of the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeusnightjar), and several lizard species, such as the viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara).
The management of the area encounters several serious problems. One of the problems is to keep the heath in its present condition and to prevent the growing of trees and grasses. The management organizations use sheep and cows to graze. To prevent disturbance, some parts of the park are closed for visitors and the road through the park is closed at night.
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In the park we find several trails for walking, biking and mountain biking. It is an important area for long distance walking and biking and there are many camp sites, restaurants and hotels. Near Nijverdal is a visitors centre and near Holten is a museum for natural history, Natuurdiorama Holterberg.