In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Hunze river was straightened and locked up between its banks. From then on the water level could be carefully controlled using weirs and pumps. As one reminder of how it used to be, one old meander of the old Hunze was preserved in the Torenveen between Gasselternijveen and Gieterveen. Today the Hunze meanders are being restored step-by-step to their former curving glory.
A nature-friendly barrier of boulders slowing the flow in the Hunze River
The Torenveen project
The Drentse Landschap Foundation is actively restoring the natural course of the river in the Hunze valley in order to give the Hunze a new future. The Torenveen project was completed in 2012. Old meanders have been excavated and the banks have been moved further apart to give the river more room to meander. Otters and Beavers have since returned to the river.
The Torenveen functions as a ‘climate buffer’ where large quantities of water can be held for a short time after periods of excessive rainfall, which are expected to happen more frequently in the warming climate.
Cycling bridge accross the Hunze in the Torenveen makes the area accessible