Restore biodiversity: connect nature areas in South Limburg

31% Reached

€18.732 Raised
€60.000 Our goal

Dutch nature is fragmented: protected Natura2000 areas and pieces of forest or grassland, heath or marsh, enclosed in between residential areas and intensive agriculture. This fragmentation prevents animals from moving freely and plants from growing in places where they would naturally do so. As a result, plant and animal species are becoming less and less common in these areas because they can no longer reproduce properly, and eventually die out locally. This is serious, because biodiversity is fundamental to, for example, our food, clean air and good soil quality. Moreover, poor soil quality and intensive agriculture lead to decreased water retention in the soil during heavy rainfall, causing floods, such as in 2021 in South Limburg.

Our solution

We thought: this can be done differently, and came up with a possible solution. In the hills of South Limburg, we are restoring and improving small connecting zones between nature areas, turning individual pieces of nature into large-scale nature areas. These can, for example, be roadsides, hedges or grafts (planted steep edges in the landscape), which act as stepping stones for various plants and animals. We do not do this on our own: we work together with various local parties, such as municipalities, water boards, farmers, private individuals and nature organisations. And with success: our first steps in the area have already led to the return of the wood bumblebee, a species that has not been seen in The Netherlands for several decades!

Don't forget to watch the video at the top of this page where the researchers tell you more about the project.

The bigger picture

The calcareous soil of the hills shows the effect of the initiatives relatively quickly, making it a good starting point to see which measures work. Ultimately, we hope to be able to apply the same approach in many more areas in the Netherlands.

Moreover, many species live in the hills that are not or hardly found anywhere else in the Netherlands! Therefore, this is an important area to protect.

This is what we ask of you

Taking all these measures costs money. Because we focus on 'empty' pieces of land, such as roadsides, there is often no government subsidy for this.

Will you help us realize the next small connection and create a large nature reserve, giving special species in South Limburg another chance?

This is what you support

Our next connection zone will probably be on top of the Keutenberg. This mountain is probably no stranger to cycling fans: the Amstel Gold Race runs over it every year. We are allowed to create a biodiverse strip along the edge of a field, which we will then monitor to see which plant and animal species return there and what the changes are in the soil quality. And you can help us make this happen! It would be great if the project could serve as an example and booster for the rest of The Netherlands.

Donate now

This project is an initiative of David Kleijn and Philippine Vergeer, professor resp. associate professor of Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation at Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

At WUR, we work hard on solutions for today's social issues, such as food security, loss of biodiversity and climate change.

Thanks to the financial support of donors to the University Fund Wageningen, WUR can boost additional projects that are not possible through regular funding. Think of talent development of students, pioneering research projects and stimulating entrepreneurship. This is how we increase and accelerate our impact together with our WUR community.

Choose an amount

€10

Sower

Thanks for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg!

17 donors

€25

Grower

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity recovery in South Limburg! As a thank you, you will receive a specially designed illustration of the Geuldal (PDF), where the project is being carried out.

6 donors

€50 Recommended

Bloomer

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg! As a thank you, you will receive a set of postcards with specially designed illustrations of the Geuldal where the project is being carried out.

6 donors

€75

Connector

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg! As a thank you, you will receive two sets of postcards with specially designed illustrations of the Geuldal where the project is being carried out.

€100

Pollinator

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg! As a thank you, you will receive a specially designed illustration (in a passe partout) of the Geuldal where the project is being carried out.

2 donors

€250

Booster

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg! As a thank you, you will receive a specially designed set of postcards from the Geuldal where the project is being carried out and you can participate in an online mini masterclass given by the researchers.

€500

Restorer

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg! As a thank you, you can participate in an exclusive mini masterclass on location in the Geuldal, given by the researchers and you will receive a memento afterwards!

1 donor

€1.000

Conservationist

Thank you for your contribution to biodiversity restoration in South Limburg! As a thank you, you can participate in an exclusively organized program at a special location in the Geuldal.

Other

I want to choose my own amount