The Green Heart is a nature area surrounded by the Randstad (The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amsterdam). The area consists of a series of landscapes, water and cities. The Green Heart can be subdivided into several areas, each with its own character, such as the Hollandse Waarden.
The Hollandse Waarden lie between Alphen aan den Rijn, Woerden and Gouda. In this area, you can experience beautiful Dutch scenes as if they were staged especially for you. There are farms where the clothes are still hanging outside to dry with in the background, a pasture of grazing cows, cropped willows and windmills. It can hardly get more Dutch than the Hollandse Waarden.
Meadow Birds in the Hollandse Waarden
The landscape of the Hollandse Waarden includes many meadows and grasslands full of flowers and herbs. This is also the landscape of the meadow birds. The Hollandse Waarden are an important nesting ground for the black-tailed godwit, redshank, northern lapwing and common quail. Thousands of birds spend the winter in the Hollandse Waarden, including the wigeon, goosander and all types of geese.
Staatsbosbeheer (the Forestry Agency) manages the Hollandse Waarden and is the proud owner of the Wierickerschans. This is a beautiful fortress located in the Groene Hart and was part of the Dutch Water Line. Today, it houses a visitor center where you can learn all about the nature and history of the landscape, recreation facilities and regional produce. If you decide to make a trip through the Hollandse Waarden, do not forget to visit the fort Wierickerschans.