Midden-Delfland, the first Special Provincial Landscape of The Netherlands
Party time in Midden-Delfland! The green area in the Randstad conurbation was the first to obtain the title of Special Provincial Landscape in The Netherlands.
The festive moment regarding the appointment of Midden-Delfland to Special Provincial Landscape took place in the centre of the area, at dairy farmer Arie van den Berg's Hoeve Ackerdijk. Among those present were Midden-Delfland's mayor Arnoud Rodenburg, neighbouring municipality Delft's mayor Marja van Bijsterveld, Regional Minister Han Weber and representatives of the Midden-Delfland Society and of nature organisations.
“The beauty of this appointment of Midden-Delfland to Special Provincial Landscape is, I believe, that the area partners have taken the initiative”, says Regional Minister Han Weber. “Obviously, we of the province have embraced this. Midden-Delfland has much to offer its neighbouring cities such as Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague. This open green landscape offers space for peace and quiet and for active recreation, qualities that are not always so self-evident in this busy part of Zuid-Holland. The initiators want to use these qualities to protect, strengthen and develop the area.”
The Province has given the initiators 2 concrete ‘development tasks’. The first one is to connect with the need for green in the surrounding cities. In addition, the Province has stressed the need for independent quality assurance. This could, for instance, be met by the polder architect of Midden-Delfland.
Alderman Govert van Oord (Midden-Delfland): “The Metropolitan region Rotterdam-The Hague continues to urbanize at great speed. A healthy living environment then becomes crucially important. The Special Provincial Landscape Midden-Delfland is the green lung of this urbanized area. With the appointment to Special Provincial Landscape will continue to work hard on a high-quality agricultural area and nature reserve, with good recreational facilities for the city.”
Nature Conservation Act
The appointment of an area as Special Provincial Landscape is a relatively new authority of provincial councils and is granted on the basis of the Nature Conservation Act. This title emphasizes the special scenic quality of the area and the energy in the area to safeguard this quality and to develop it. With this title an area can also advertise itself, which offers opportunities for recreation and tourism.
In the spring of 2017, twenty partners took the initiative to appoint Midden-Delfland as the first Special Provincial Landscape in the Netherlands. The Province agrees with the submitters that this is a very special area. The Provincial Advisor on Spatial Quality, Harm Veenenbos, supports the application. The bid book that has been submitted to the Province contains concrete actions on and investments in landscape, agriculture, recreation and nature.
The area partners will work on the actions during the coming 8 years. An interim evaluation will be made after 4 years, which will focus on the improvement of the spatial quality and the effect on the connection between city and green space. Earlier on, the area partners of Midden-Delfland already showed that they can work from an integral areal approach to a perspective for landscape, accessibility and economy. The IODS-programme regarding the incorporation of the A4 Delft-Schiedam and the development of recreation, nature and a sustainable future for dairy farming is a good example.