3.6 Cross section Ameland/Fryslân

1. Map of the cross- section (download detailed map)

2. Characterization

In the north of the cross-section, there is a part of the Wadden Island Ameland which is characterized by dunes, dune reclamations and polders. South of the island is the Wadden Sea, a very special piece of landscape with his wide open sky and a view on the mainland with the seawall and the towers of the churches, each with a different silhouette.
On the mainland, outside the seawall and still under influence of the sea  there is a big area of silts and marshlands on the higher parts with scattered ring dyke pools. The landscape of the mainland behind the sea wall is characterized by open spaces with arable land in Het Bildt and grassland in the south. The different kinds of villages are: dike villages (Vrouwenparochie), sluice villages (Oude Bildtzijl) and dwelling mounds (Beetgum). In order to protect the land from forces of the sea, dykes like the Oude Bildtdijk, Nieuwe Bildtdijk and Skredijk were built. The dykes also tell the story of land reclamation in former times.


Open landscape Nabij Marssum                                   OoievaarDwelling mound Deinum

Dike village Vrouwenparochie                                           Sluice village Oude Bildtzijl


3. Spatial development: Sea defence

General remarks
The question of who is responsible for the sea defence is important. What kind of development is allowed behind the sea defence? The responsible government decides about new developments. Decisions by the national states are primarily based on protection, whereas for example municipalities focus more on chances for developments.

Integrated coastal management (ICZM) approach for a sustainable and balanced development of the region will cover also coastal protection requirements.

Uncertain and unclear responsibilities lead to incidental planning and sometimes a lack of investment with effects on landscape and heritage.


Wadden Sea land reclamation                                                                              Sea dyke

4. Spatial development: Settlements

General remarks
On the island, there is a policy of maintaining settlements in their old setting. Requests for new building sites in rural areas were made. Ecological values obstruct new building activities in this part. Which are the best locations for small scale building sites on the island?
On the mainland new building sites are situated near villages, but often not in line with a certain regional identity. In this case the question is; what is the regional identity of buildings and building sites?

Promoting the cultural values and creating a better awareness among decision makers, planners and architects in their business. Stimulate the use of that knowledge and awareness in designing new sties and buildings.


New extention Beetgum                                                             Houses in Engelum

Even small scale building activities can wipe away the cultural history and damage the area-specific landscape.

5. Spatial development : Agriculture

General remarks
There is a conflict between agriculture, nature and landscape on the island. Intensifying and increasing productivity is hardly possible because of natural and logistic restrictions. The number of farms is decreasing and agriculture seems to be no longer profitable.
Environmental legislation makes it even harder to continue profitable farming.
On the mainland, agriculture is still a rather strong economic basis. Scale enlargement is still going on with it’s effects on landscape.

On the island, there are possibilities for a combination of agriculture, tourism and recreation.
On the mainland the agricultural sector could carry on managing the landscape in a sustainable way. Scale enlargement and other chances have to fit in the cultural landscape.

Scale enlargement of farmland and farm buildings can have negative effects on landscape and cultural heritage when it's done in the wrong way.

 Variety in landscape near Berlikumerwijd molen

Arable land, Berlikum                                                          Arable land, Skredijk

6. Spatial development: Horticulture

General remarks
In the cross section, an area of 450 hectare must be found for the construction of new green houses.

The discussion of the disputed development of horticulture will contribute to an awareness of the landscape and cultural heritage being an ultimate challenge in exercising Protection (of a very valuable and vulnerable landscape) by Development  (green houses as new “member” of the landscape).

Decreasing openness of the area and disappearing darkness are seen as threats. Glittering glass walls can break the scale and texture of the landscape.


Green houses in Berlikum

7. Spatial development: Nature

General remarks
The Wadden Sea area is managed by national and international guidelines (Wadden Sea Plan)and national legislation. The situation for protection of the mainland is different, more fragmentized.
Along the coast of the mainland, there is one of the largest land reclamation areas of the entire Wadden Sea area. It is partly man made land (heritage) with important natural values.
Besides nature conservation objectives, there is an opportunity  to protect the cultural values of land reclamation. Continuing land reclamation could support the maintenance of the cultural values, could partly benefit nature conservation and development and could be a measure of coastal protection.
By giving back land to nature, some cultural values can disappear easily.


Sea dyke, Poldijk                                                            Land reclamation near Zwarte Haan

8. Spatial development: Tourism

General remarks
On the island, there is a large number of tourists. They concentrate in the dune areas and small villages because of the attractiveness. The other parts, the polders, can offer space and attractiveness by their landscape and heritage as well and reduce the pressure on dune areas and villages.
On the mainland, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of landscape and cultural heritage for the development of tourism.
Increase the economic importance of tourism by the combination of farming and tourism/recreation, sometimes by re-use of empty historical buildings (old farmhouses).
Look for arrangements in visiting the island and the main land.
New accommodations for tourists can conflict with the regional identity

Ferry to Ameland                                                           Restaurant the Zwarte Haan

9. Spatial development: Economics

General remarks
An economic development is shown by the enlargement of business parks, for example near Sint Jacobiparochie and the new road between Leeuwarden and Marssum, the so called Noord-west Tangent.
Specific (economic) issues are the windmills. The provincial policy for windmills says that on the island windmills are not allowed to be built. On the mainland they are allowed only on selected locations, like Nijkerkerpolder. There is a policy of “up scaling”, 10 new = 5 old removed.
A stronger economy can sometimes contribute to more investments in landscape and cultural heritage.
Strong points to stress: clean, space, identity (landscape and cultural history).
With existing rules and legislation, it can sometimes be difficult to develop good sites. A new site for ‘whatever’ needs tailor-made solutions and spatial design, which not always fit into common rules.  


Businesspark Stiens