© Mark Schuurman via NFW

Noardlike Fryske Wâlden National Landscape

The province of Friesland has many beautiful natural areas, and the Noardlike Fryske Wâlden National Landscape is one of them. "Noardlike Fryske Wâlden" is Frisian for Northern Frisian Woodlands. Now there are some forests in the area, the rows of alders and dykswâlen (hedgerows) along the meadows form the smûke (Frisian for cozy) scenic landscape with a large number of dobes and pingos, certain types of waterholes.

  • Visit this 25,000 hectare National Landscape.
  • Discover the characteristic strip land parceling.
  • Follow the medieval paths that monks and farmers used to walk on.

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.

Medieval paths

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.

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