Dutch Policy and Practices: then and Now

W.P. Spaan, M.J.P.M. Riksen, H.J. Winteraeken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Though erosion and its control is not a major issue in The Netherlands, in some regions of the country wind and water erosion have caused severe local damage and nuisance and continue to do so. The earliest farmers settled on the higher parts of The Netherlands but, over time, overexploitation has caused extensive tracts to become drifting sand. From 1500 ¿ 1900 ¿Erosion Boards¿ were set up to control the sand drifts. Shifting sand areas were visited twice a year and conservation measures were applied. Despite this promising approach, the area of sand drifts increased because land users were poor and fines were high. Reforestation was important for the battle against drifting sand. Also contributing to the decline of drifting sands were the abolition of communal land use, the introduction of fertilizers and the collapse of the wool industry. In recent decades, ¿modern agriculture¿ has aggravated wind and water erosion problems. Nowadays wind erosion is causing problems in the Peat Reclamation District (PRD) in the north-east of the country. Here, land consolidation is regarded as a possible solution to decrease wind erosion. As a result of water erosion in the hilly part of South Limburg, where loess soils are dominant, towns and villages in the valleys are regularly flooded. It is being attempted to mitigate the problems of flooding by means of legislation and cooperation between stakeholders: Redistribution of land, implementation of measures ¿on hot spots¿ in the drainage system and farm management plans. There have been major successes already, but sustainable land use is still a long way off
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
JournalArchives of Agronomy and Soil Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • wind erosion
  • water erosion
  • erosion control
  • nature conservation
  • flooding
  • netherlands
  • limburg

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