Dutch military base becomes nature reserve

This 2014 drone video is about the now abandoned military airbase Soesterberg in Utrecht province in the Netherlands.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Soesterberg warplane base becomes a natural landscape: ‘it has to stay green’

There are roe deer, pine martens, badgers, foxes, almost all birds of prey species in the Netherlands and many other animals at Soesterberg airbase. To prevent it from ever being built over, the [conservation organisation] Utrecht Landscape Foundation has purchased the 375-hectare plot. The foundation will manage the area from today on. The goal: an area that will stay green and will maintain its heritage.

“We have paid 4.7 million euros this week, we are now very poor but at the same time much richer”, says Saskia van Dockum, director of Stichting Utrechts Landschap on NPO Radio 1. “We have saved a lot, we knew that a purchase like this would cost much.”

It is partly thanks to the supporters of the foundation that it has made this purchase: some 25,000 people have contributed to the purchase. …

The air base is an important pivot in the Utrecht hills area, says director Van Dockum. “This area connects nature of the north and south to each other.”

Soesterberg wildlife includes northern wheatears, a threatened bird species in the Netherlands.

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