Future-proof peat meadow polder ‘Lange Weide’

The future-proof peat meadow polder ‘Lange Weide’, is unique bottom-up initiative and the largest submerged drainage project in the Netherlands.

Project summary: 

In livestock farming in the Netherlands, ditch water levels are reduced in order to preserve the carrying capacity of the parcels. This is causing soil erosion in the grasslands of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk. The ground level has fallen three metres in the past 900 years. Submerged drainage is an effective measure to slow soil subsidence and this project supports a large-scale construction of such a system. The project is piloting an approach that could be applied in other comparable peat meadow areas and aims to widely share the knowledge gained. 

Project results: 

Installed 450 kilometres of submerged drainage to slow down subsidence in this peat meadow area.

Twenty-eight landowners are taking part, including 13 farmers and 15 other landowners. This strengthens social cohesion in the project area.

A new drainage system has been installed across 310 hectares of one polder.

Land parcels are expected to erode less quickly than before. Previous applications of this type of action on individual parcels have shown a 30-50% reduction in ground level drop.