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
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.