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Inspiration story: cliffs of Moher

| Redactie VVV Waterland van Friesland

The much-sung Irish "Cliffs of Moher" are the end. Both figuratively and literally. Did you know that these cliffs are among the most dangerous tourist attractions? So why not rather take a selfie on the Oudemirdumer cliff and see how you like it? With its highest point of 12 meters above sea level, less exciting, but certainly no less fun. And with your imagination plus background information from forester Sander Veenstra, it will certainly be a fun and educational outing.

The hotspot of Gaasterland

Sander Veenstra, 30 years old and forester of Natuurmonumenten has about 10 nature reserves under his management in the triangle Gaasterland-Harlingen-Leeuwarden. The Oudemirdumer cliff is also under his management. Sander: “This cliff was purchased by Natuurmonumenten in 1927 for its great scenic value. Then the Zuiderzee existed and so ebb and flow also existed. The salt water hit the cliff daily, shaping it. Due to the lack of ebb and flow and salt water, the cliff is now less steep. This is clearly visible in old photos. The cliff consists of boulder clay with a layer of sand on top. This is now no longer washed away, causing a shallow slope. Which benefits the safety for taking a selfie. Yet this is still the hotspot of Gaasterland. Because of the 360 degree view and because of the diversity of nature. ”

360 degrees of variety

Bone dry and wet come together in one area. This gives a great natural diversity. At the bottom of the cliff is the IJsselmeer and the boulder clay where wild orchids grow. On top is the bone-dry cover sand where other special plants grow. A total of about 250 varieties. Are you looking ahead on the cliff? Then you can see all the way to Lelystad in clear weather. Are you looking back? Then you see the rolling greenery and forests of Gaasterland. Look around and you will see 360 degrees of diversity. That is why this is a wonderful place to quietly enjoy a sandwich. And the longer you sit still, the more you will be absorbed by the environment and the greater the chance that nature will show itself: badgers, deer, foxes. And of course many special bird species, including the noisy and beautifully decorated linnet. Or the bald eagle ... ”

Do you see them flying?

With its wingspan of 2 meters, the bald eagle is the size of a kite surfer's sail. This bird of prey breeds at Koudum and searches a large area to eat, which not all birds are happy with. When the sea eagle flies over, the geese panic. The bald eagle originally belongs here. Just like the sand martin. And it still really breeds here on the bank, to which it owes its name. By the way, we have to lend a hand here by cutting off the cliff and clearing vegetation. This also prevents the badger - who also lives in the cliff wall - from reaching the swallow's nests. Greening of the cliff is caused by nitrogen. This fertilizer rains from the air into the ground, which is particularly beneficial for grasses. Special plants prefer poor soil. The story about the soil can also be seen in the so-called tuunwallen. These are bare walls of grass sods, which are sometimes hundreds of years old and were built to keep the cattle back.

A place to keep

In short, in this place nature and landscape culture, salt and sweet, wet and dry come together: unique! Don't you think this is exciting enough yet? What do you watch out for doing a Yoga sun salutation here at sunrise, or at sunset to propose to your loved one on knees? But whatever you do here between sunset or sunrise, stick to the rules and don't leave a mess. Because the Cliffs of Moher in Waterland have to be webware. ”

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