Wind-blown sand on the Drouwener Sand
There was a time when the Drouwenerzand drove travellers mad. It was a large barren area of sand where the wind raged without mercy and the sand beat into your face. Walking in the Drouwenerzand today you have nothing to fear. At most you’ll be amazed at so much magnificent natural scenery.The Drouwenerzand has the status of a ‘Geological Monument’, the first in Drenthe.
Made by humans
In fact most of the sand-drifts in Drenthe are not the work of nature but of man. Because in those days men asked too much of nature. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the farmers allowed too many sheep to graze on the heather. They dug up too much peat. Too many wagons drove over the land. The result was that the topmost layer of the heathland died and the wind blew away the white sand beneath. The wind blew the sand up into high dunes. The farmers lived in fear of the sandstorms which could destroy their harvest in a few hours. At the beginning of the twentieth century men conquered the unbounded nature of the Drouwenerzand by planting it with thousands of fir trees. In the last few years Het Drentse Landschap has chopped down many of the trees in order to give a new lease of life to the drifted sand.
There is plenty of opportunity to walk over or around the dune area of the Drouwener sands.
Coordinates: 52°57’24.1″N 6°47’52.4″E