Living shifting sands
The Aekingerzand, or Kale Duinen, is a very special area of natural beauty. Weather and wind can do what they like, here. The area has been restored in the last few years by the Dutch Forestry Commission.Trees and scrubs prevented the sand from shifting.This caused a characteristic landscape with several special animals, like the sand lizard and the comma butterfly, to slowly disappear.Now that many trees have been cut, the sand can shift again.The Aekingerzand lies in a beautifully varied area.The Grenspoel, a fen at the edge of the shifting sands area Aekingerzand, is a little gem. Nearby is the brook valley of the Vledder Aa. Here, nature is also developing. Cultivation ditches have been filled in, contaminated soil has been taken away and the water finds its own route, once again. Slowly, plants and animals for whom brook valleys are their natural habitat, return.
Also elsewhere in the Drents-Friese Wold are more shifting sand areas, such as the Witte Zand close near Diever. Many shifting sand areas have been forested in the 20th century, such as the Dieverzand and the Bosberg. One may still recognise the shifting sands in the many little hills with trees upon them.