The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation has instructed the nature management agency Staatsbosbeheer to sell 17,000 hectares of its land. This is the only way to cope with the enormous cutbacks.
Koolmansdijk. It was no more than six hectares when Staatsbosbeheer bought it but that area has been increased through targeted purchases. Thanks to successful nature restoration it has now developed to become one of the most important nature reserves in the eastern Netherlands. A pearl, as it was called last week in an article in the Volkskrant newspaper, the equal or perhaps even the superior of Natura 2000 areas close by such as Teeselinkven and Stelkampsveld. For a long time it was not thought possible to restore blue moor-grass sites, as Victor Westhoff and his contemporaries emphasized, but they have been proved very wrong by the thousands of parnassias, knotted pearlwort and marsh helleborine plants, and the return of great rarities such as the yellow centuary, wolf's bane and bog hair-grass. There was only a single specimen of the wonderful parnassia in 1978.
Koolmansdijk. It is as if the Mauritshuis museum had been instructed to sell Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp so that they could use the canvas to repair tents. Or the Rijksmuseum told to get rid of Rembrandt's The Jewish Bride or The Syndics of the Drapers Guild, or sections of these paintings. And why not? After all, pieces were cut off The Night Watch.