Dutch National Landscapes

In addition to the twenty National Parks the Netherlands has also designated twenty National Landscapes. These are landscapes that combine unique elements of cultural heritage and nature to relate the history of the Dutch landscape. National Landscapes are characterised by the specific inter-dependency of the different facets of landscape, such as nature (flora and fauna), relief (stream valleys and earth mounds), land use (agriculture, recreation, nature) and historic buildings (villages and forts). In designating National Landscapes, the government aims to preserve the traditional Dutch landscape. The Dutch have a special affection for these landscapes. The National Landscapes should be able to sustain socio-economic development while maintaining or strengthening the special qualities of the area and be attractive places to live, set up businesses and spend leisure time. The National Landscapes together cover approximately 20% of the surface of the Netherlands and an estimated 2.5 million people live in them.