Environment

Landscape openness

The most open areas in the Netherlands are the large water bodies, the northern marine clay and peat areas and the IJsselmeer polders. The most enclosed and small-scale landscapes are found throughout the Netherlands, but predominantly on sandy soils. The province of Friesland has the highest percentage of very open areas, because it contains a large part of the IJsselmeer lake and has many open marine clay landscapes. Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Gelderland are provinces with more enclosed landscape types because of the many trees, copses and woods in these provinces.

Openness in the landscape

The variation in openness of the Dutch landscape has its origins in the history of settlement and cultivation. Today, openness is not only a factor in how people perceive and experience the landscape, but also in the suitability of the landscape as a habitat for animal species. For example, meadow birds need open landscapes, while birds of scrub and woodlands require more enclosed landscapes. The large water bodies are the most open areas, followed by landscapes of the northern marine clay and peat areas and the IJsselmeer polders.

The most enclosed landscapes are found throughout the Netherlands, but mainly on the higher ground with sandy soils.

Large differences in openness

The degree of openness of the landscape is determined by the presence or absence of elements above eye level in the surrounding area: slopes, tall vegetation such as woods, tree belts and wooded banks, the built-up areas of towns and villages, and houses and other buildings in the landscape. The map shows the visible surface areas (in hectares) from a given point in the landscape for the 2018 monitoring year; the larger the number of hectares of land that are visible, the greater the openness. The very open areas are in the marine clay regions in the north and south-west, the IJsselmeer polders, parts of the peat meadow areas in the west and the Veenkoloniƫn region of reclaimed peat workings in the north-east. In these areas the tall vegetation and buildings are mainly clustered in and around the villages and farmyards.

The more enclosed landscapes with a patchwork of fields and copses, small woods, tree rows and wooded banks are found mainly in the areas of higher ground with sandy soils, such as the Noordelijke Wouden, Twente, de Graafschap, Winterswijk, Gelderse Vallei and Midden-Brabant regions. Enclosed landscapes are also found in some parts of the transitional slopes between the higher sandy soils and the floodplains of the major rivers. Finally, the south-western marine clay region contains a few areas of enclosed landscapes, such as Walcheren and Zuid-Beverland.

The province of Friesland has the highest percentage of very open areas, because it contains a large part of the IJsselmeer lake and has many open marine clay landscapes. Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Gelderland are provinces with more enclosed landscape types because of the many trees, copses and woods in these provinces.

Referenties

Archief van deze indicator

Referentie van deze webpagina

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2022). Landscape openness (indicator 1022, versie 05 , 18 October 2022 ). www.clo.nl. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS), Den Haag; PBL Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, Den Haag; RIVM Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, Bilthoven; en Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

Het CLO is een samenwerkingsverband van CBS, PBL, RIVM en WUR.