Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Loonse and Drunense Dunes

The Loonse en Drunense Duinen (Loonse and Drunense Dunes) is a national park situated in the south of the Netherlands, between the cities of Tilburg, Waalwijk & 's-Hertogenbosch.

Loonse en Drunense Duinen (Loonse and Drunense Dunes)
The dunes in this national park are unique and not to be found anywhere else in North Western Europe. Its sands are always moving. At the end of the 19th century woodlands were planted around the 'drifting lands' to control this unusual movement. On the south side of the park lies the De Brand marshland. Although very beautiful in autumn and winter, the best way to explore the Loonse and Drunense Dunes is on foot or by bike in spring or summer.
It has been designated as a national park since 2002. It is 35 km² (14 mile²) in area.

It's the biggest drift sand area in Europe.The sand was left there after the ice ages, but covered with a layer of top soil. This top soil was stripped in the middle ages by overgrazing and deforestation, uncovering the bare sand. This was one of the first ecological disasters caused by mankind in it's history, only to reversed when it started creating economical havoc (in the Veluwe region, for example, when the dunes started threatening cities like Arnhem) Only then did the early Dutch government started to act. In the past it swallowed several of villages. Finally they kept the sand away by planting a lot of trees in a row between the village and the sand. The oaks who are centuries old, are all covered by sand and only the upper branches are above the surface.

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