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The Formation of the Modern Landscape
After the Second World War, the landscape in Drenthe is bare. The bogs and peat areas have disappeared as a result of the peat extractions during the second half of the 19th century. They have made way for agriculture. In order to be able to work the land more efficiently, farmers trade small plots of land among themselves, creating larger, continuous plots. The monotony of the endless plots of maize, potatoes, and grain are something that Harry de Vroome, landscape designer for Staatsbosbeheer, would like to see changed. He makes a plan to give the authentic Drenthe landscape sufficient room in the new landscape that is being formed by the land consolidation.
At the initiative of De Vroome, trees appear again at the edges of the towns in Drenthe. Thousands of oaks are planted, the tree that used to be common on the edges of the brinkdorpen and esdorpen, or angerdörfer. He leaves the old communal fields (es), on which the farmers grew their crops since long ago, intact in the landscape as open fields. Wind breaks are replanted between Zuidlaren and Midlaren toward the Zuidlaardermeer. Not everyone is happy about these changes to the landscape. Farmers put up a serious fight against these trees and bushes which, according to them, get in the way of their work.
Harry de Vroome's biggest achievement is the protection of the area of the Drentsche Aa. When elsewhere in the Netherlands in those days stream valleys were straightened as part of the land consolidation, this ancient stream valley in Drenthe is preserved and reinforced and marked as a landscape reservation. Very unique about this area is that it doesn't just cover natural terrain, but farmlands and a number of villages as well.
Between Old and New
During the 21st century, a number of planning changes were implemented based on the renewed Landscape Vision that have made this piece of Drenthe landscape even more distinctive, being both varied and picturesque. An interesting mix between old and new that gives Drenthe a lot of character.
Visit the green village edge of Vries, the Deurzerdiep near Assen, or the windbreaks near the Zuidlaardermeer to get an impression of the post-war policy of Drenthe. In the landscape reservation the Drentsche Aa old and new landscapes come together.