Noardlike Fryske Wâlden National Landscape
Dobben and Alder Canals
When you're walking through the Noardlike Fryske Wâlden, you will be sure to notice the many dobben. These shallow ponds are remnants from the Ice Age. Thousands of years later, farmers first used these ponds for peat extraction and subsequently as water reservoirs for cattle. There are about 300 such ponds in the area.
People were happy to exploit the peat soil during the last century. The peat extraction has created a peculiar land allotment pattern with alder-lined canals as far as the eye can see. This is a typically Dutch phenomenon, where people planted rows of Alder trees on both sides of a ditch.
During a tour through the landscape of Noardlike Fryske Wâlden, you will pass beautiful estates, monasteries, and picturesque hamlets. The landscape is characterized by small-scale farmland with rich flora and fauna, striking for its small parcels, bordered by hedgerows, alder trees and blackberry bushes. Some paths are centuries old and were once walked by monks and peasants on their way to nearby churches and farms. Surrounded by traces from a distant past, it seems as if time has not had any effect on the beautiful scenery of the Noardlike Fryske Wâlden.