RDP project database
This project centres on the restoration of protective borders around orchards called 'shelterbelts', which contribute to the ecological quality of rural areas. The project also provided also fostered cooperation between farmers and volunteers.
Noordoostpolder and East Flevoland in the Netherlands are known for fruit growing and associated industries. Shelterbelts were planted around the orchards when the polder (a section of land reclaimed from the sea) was first developed, to protect the trees from the wind. However, of late the fruit growing acreage of these areas has diminished, with consequences for development in the area. The restoration of vital shelterbelts has been identified as a viable means of addressing this problem.
The project aims are multifold but centre on the restoration of orchard shelterbelts, which contribute to the ecological quality of the area. However, this project also boasts real benefits in terms of improving landscape quality and preserving cultural heritage.
Project participants (farmers) were recruited and provided with training on tending to and maintaining orchard shelterbelts. Much attention was paid to the specific landscape qualities of the area and a number of 'model' shelterbelts were developed in line with these noted attributes. Recovery plans were drawn up in cooperation with the owners of the orchards themselves and financial support was recieved for the recovery of 7 km of orchard shelterbelts.
Results & Benefits
Upon completion in 2013, some 7,000 metres of orchard shelterbelt will have been restored, with clear ecological benefits. However, this will also contribute to the protection of the area's rural heritage and allow farmers/owners to operate in a more efficient manner. It is also anticipated that greater appreciation for orchard shelterbelts will result from their positive effect on the overall attractiveness of the local landscape.
Although this project is currently in its preliminary stages, it seems likely that structural financing will be required for aspects associated with the structural preservation of the landscape...e.g. in the form of management subsidies or revenue from the sale of wood as biomass.
Project location and other information
In the North-East Polder around Ens and Markness and in East Flevoland around Dronten, Netherlands
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Languages for contact
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
€100 000 - €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
Improving quality of life in rural areas
323. Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage
Fruit, Biodiversity, Rural heritage, Landscape