SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Over four in five Dutch people are worried about the deterioration of the Dutch landscape, a survey by nature organisation Natuurmonumenten has shown.
Some 81% of the 45,000 respondents are very worried about biodiversity, with 61% citing the disappearance of wild flowers, insects and bees as a problem. Three in 10 also mentioned the disappearance of trees and hedges from the landscape and the increase in the number of giant barns for the intensive farming sector.
The average score for the natural landscape is still 7.5 out of 10 although with marked regional differences, Natuurmonumenten found. The province of Drenthe scored a 8.1 while Zuid Holland only managed a 6.7, with the western Randstad and the natural landscape around other big cities meriting no more than 6 out of 10 or less.
‘People are becoming aware that our landscape is becoming more uniform,’ Natuurmonumenten director Marc van Tweel told broadcaster Nos. ‘They hear less birdsong and see fewer flowers.
Characteristic landscapes are disappearing, and business parks are encroaching on the natural space.’ Over nine in 10 of the respondents think the Dutch government is primarily responsible for the protection of the landscape and should take nature into account when planning projects such as wind turbine parks and new roads.