News - September 30, 2009

Students from Velp provide nature education during Posbank Walk

There were more than 1100 people taking part in the walk from the Larenstein country estate to the Posbank hill on 27 September. On the route there were University of Applied Sciences students telling them about the nature and countryside.

Walkers pause for a rest and enjoy the view from the Posbank.
 Last Sunday, a stall was set up in the middle of the Posbank at the point where the heath turns into woodland. The stall had coffee and first-aiders, but it also had a large box containing insects and spiders and an aquarium with fish and other aquatic creatures. 'We wanted to show the walkers wildlife they wouldn't be so familiar with,' says the third-year Forestry and Nature Management student Robin Kraaij. He was manning the so-called Greenpoints together with other VHL students. At these points walkers could get a stamp, quench their thirst and get their breath back, while students told them things about the nature all around.
Fire bugs
The container with the insects and spiders also contained a toad and a Roman snail, says Robin. 'We collected the creatures the day before because we were looking for something spectacular. For example, a five centimetre long beetle and a Roman snail. Roman snails are fairly common in South Limburg, but it's a protected species to stop the snails being served up as escargots.'
The walkers were amazed at the profusion of wildlife they are not normally aware of, says Robin. 'Visitors' centres always focus on foxes and wild boars, whereas we showed them fire bugs. There are millions of them on the trees but no-one ever notices them.'
7.5 or 30 kilometres
As many as 1152 people took part in the Larenstein to Posbank walk organised by the Velp University of Applied Sciences; that was three hundred more than last year. They could do walks of 17, 25 or 30 kilometres, or the new family walk of 7.5 kilometres. The route went from the Larenstein country estate in Velp via Rosendael castle to the Posbank.