Ambassador profile


  Name: Gradus Lemmen
  Function: Site Manager
  Country: Netherlands
  E-mail: g.lemmen(at)natuurmonumenten(dot)nl
  Tel: +31 35659 1840

Organisation profile


  E-mail: f.prins(at)natuurmonumenten(dot)nl
  Tel: +31 35655 9933
  Established: 1905
  Category: NGO
  Number of staff: 600 and 2000 volunteers
Site profile
  Site name: Naardermeer  
  Location: North of the Netherlands  
  Land area: 1,180 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: Amsterdam  
  Natura 2000 ID: NL3000061  
  Annual visitor count: 30,000  
  Majority of visitors from: From the nearby regions, including Almere, Amsterdam, Amersfoort and Utrecht.  
  Site description:

Naardermeer is a marshland region of 1,080 hectares in the centre of the Netherlands. The region derives its greatest value from the fact that various rare breeding birds and migrating birds that can be found there as well as the rich variety of types of vegetation which are characteristic of a marshland area that is fed with seepage. Naardermeer forms part of the Vechtplassen region, which consists of various lakes and marshes for which it functions as a core zone.
The nature reserve is bounded in the West, North and East by motorways, railways and cities. Cooperation with the authorities and other institutions is well developed to guarantee and to improve the quality of the area.
Naardermeer was purchased by Vereniging Natuurmonumenten in 1906. It is the oldest protected nature area in The Netherlands. The area is situated in the province of Noord-Holland, south east of Amsterdam (appendix 1). The marshland region lies between the Gooise hills in the east and the river Vecht in the west. Contrary to the other lakes in the ‘Vechtplassen’ region created by peat cutting, Naardermeer is a natural lake, which resulted from an influx from the river Vecht. This nature reserve’s total area of 1077 hectares is owned by Vereniging Natuurmonumenten and 677 hectares of this are located within the quay of Naardermeer and forms the original marshland are; an area of 400 hectares is situated outside the quay and was in agricultural use for a long time, and in 1997 it was designated as a buffer and nature development area
Many species that can be found in Naardermeer are protected under the Conventions of Bonn and Bern. Owing to its important natural values, Naardermeer has been designated both as international wetland area under the Ramsar Convention. Besides, it is a protected area under the Bird and Habitat Directives (Appendix 4). In 2004 the site was awarded with the European Diploma from the Council of Europe.
The Naardermeer Restoration Plan and Covenant were drawn up by different authorities and institutions in 1993, after which implementation began. It is an integral plan running till 2050 for the restoration and protection of Naardermeer in conjunction with surrounding polders. The plan was needed because the natural values of Naardermeer had decreased since the late seventies. The cause of this disintegration was mainly due to changes in water management. Because of ground water collection, drops in the water level in the surrounding area and the construction of the IJsselmeerpolders, leakage increased, whereas the seepage towards Naardermeer, in fact, decreased. An ever greater supply of water from outside the area was needed to maintain the water in the lakes at the required level. However, more measures and a joint effort of all parties involved appeared to be necessary if the natural values of Naardermeer were to be restored. Endorsement of the covenant by 12 organisations, amongst which several Ministries, the provincial and municipal authorities, and the district water board, clearly shows that there is wide public support for the restoration of Naardermeer. The first results of the Restoration Plan are now visible; the integral approach seems to work and clearly has had a positive influence on the aquatic ecological communities. The deterioration of the terrestrial ecological communities has been put to a halt and it is expected that matters will improve in the years ahead.
Despite the extensive and successful Restoration Plan and the national and international protection of Naardermeer, the area is also faced with a number of serious threats. These threats have their origin in the location of the nature reserve amid the urban regions of the densely populated Western part of the Netherlands. There are governmental plans to widen the motorway skirting the nature reserve, to double the tracks of National Railways there and to build a new stretch of motorway. This would mean disturbance of the nature area and would impede water management.


Priority species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
  1134 Rhodeus sericeus amarus Bittervoorn
  1149 Cobitis taenia Kleine modderkruiper
  1318 Myotis dasycneme Meervleermuis
  1903 Liparis loeselii Groenknolorchis
  1082 Graphoderus bilineatus Gestreepte waterroofkever
  101X Anisus vorticulus Platte schijfhoren
All habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  3140 Chalk oligo-mesotrofe still standing waters with bentic Chara spp. vegetations
  3150 Natural eutrofic lakes with Magnopotamion of
Hydrocharition vegetation.
  4010 North-Atlantic wetland Erica tetralix
  6410 Grassland with Molinia on chalk substrate, venige of lemige kleibodem
(Molinion caeruleae)
  7140 Overgangs-en trilveen
  91D0 * Veenbossen
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←        → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Private individuals        
  Hobby groups (bird watchers)        
  Other: Water board        
  Other: Province        
Stakeholder success stories

Recovery Plan (1994)

To improve the water quality a recovery plan was established in 1994. An agreement was set up with 12 partners. Partners are the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Foodquality, the local parishes, the Province Noord Holland, Dutch Railways Company, Waterboard.
Each partner has a special role to fulfil. Meanwhile about 90 % of the plan is ready. Many nature values are improving now.


Connection zone with Ankeveense Plassen

Naardermeer is like an island in an agricutural and urbanised surrounding. One of the key elements in the Recovery Plan is to establish a connection zone with the Ankeveense Plassen, a marshland area south of Naardermeer. The authorities have agreed with this plan and work will start end of 2007 and this will be finalised end of 2008.

Photo credit: Gradus Lemmen
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Guided visits
Other: website,


  Event frequency
A few times a year
Excursions every day form 1 th of april until the 1th of November.


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers
No: only all-year volunteers


  Kind of work / volunteering opportunities
  • All kind of practical work in reed beds and hay lands,
  • Guided tours,
  • Windmill operators,
  • Information officers,
  • Monitoring birds.


  Communication literature produced
Magazines / periodicals
Other: website


  Communication target groups
General public
Local community
Site visitors
Other: Members


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Description of communication strategy
  • Guided tours for 8000 people every year by volunteers;
  • Site leaflet in main visitor centre in this region;
  • A small visitor centre on the site with support of volunteers;
  • Articles in our magazine for 900,000 members;
  • A lot of media attention
  • A paper guide used by 20,000 walkers every year;
  • Website (15,000 hits every year)
  • Special education programme for school children.


  The communication materials are produced
At the site and at the central office


  Site involved in joint working / networking


Site management profile
"Naardermeer as an Oasis in an urbanised area"
  Key site management issues:


  1. Turn around of the zonation in the area. Nowadays, the main entrance is at the western side of the area, far away from the nearest city, Bussum. The idea is to move information centre and the management office to the eastern side of the reserve, easy accessible by public transport. Aim is to reduce traffic around the reserve and to create an logical entrance to the area.
  2. An education programme for pupils of secondary schools in Amsterdam is set up. Aim is to improve support of citizens of Amsterdam for Naardermeer
  3. Improving of the relation wit the city council of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is very important for spatial planning around Naardermeer. We would like to improve appreciation of this area by Amsterdam.
  4. Development of new hayfields at the eastern side of Naardermeer, fed by seepage water.


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


A management plan will be set up in 2008. In this plan Natura 2000 and other management issues will be integrated.


  Key site management objectives:


  • Conflicts between farmers and the large number of wild geese from the wetlands eating the grasses. Payment to compensate damage are felt as not sufficient. For many cases, the voluntary cooperation of farmers is needed.
  • Informing and involving farmers in the changes of agricultural area in nature wetlands.
  • Balancing the groundwater level necessary for nature development and needs of local farmers.


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


  • Natuurmonumenten
  • Rijkswaterstaat
  • Provincie Noord-Holland
  • Hoogheemraadschap Amstel en Vecht
  • Gemeente Naarden
  • Ministerie van LNV
  • Gemeente Hilversum
  • Gemeente Muiden
  • Gemeente Weesp
  • Gemeente Bussum
  • Nederlandse Spoorwegen


  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


  • Nature development
  • Reducing ground water extraction
  • Sludge dredging
  • Nature recovery in reed beds and hay lands.


  Results of action and activities:


After a very intensive monitoring programme we have discovered that nature is recovering in the way that we hoped. The Naardermeer has become very famous and everyone can see the results clearly now.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


Monitoring: Euros 10.000


Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


Total budget Naardermeer: Euros 520,000


  Budget reserved for communication:


Euros 16,000


  European funding:


Life +

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Naardermeer: NL