Nature and art at Poolshoogte
There is a nice heathland called ‘Schapenpark’ close to the town of Odoorn, accross the N34 road. It is a park-like environment, with a few scattered trees. And of course, it is run over by sheep. In the middle of the heath stands a modern megalithic monument called ‘Ode to the sun’, created by the artist Rob Schreefel. From the artificial mound ‘Poolshoogte’, with its viewing tower, you’ll have a magnificent view of the surroundings.
The hurricane of 1972
The Schapenpark used to be a forest plantation like many others in this area until the heavy storms of the fall of 1972 destroyed tens of thousands of trees. The state forestry organisation ‘Staatsbosbeheer’ decided not to replant the trees but to fence off the nearly 300 hectares area instead. In this large field one hundred Drenthe sheep were introduced, who would keep the area open by grazing the young trees.
In 1934 an artificial hill was built called ‘Poolshoogte’. This laborious job was part of an unemployment relief scheme, initiated by Mr. Meelker, the local forest ranger. The labourers carried out this sisyphean job using shovel and wheelbarrow. The top of the hill provided a good spot to survey the area (take ‘poolshoogte’, a dutch expression).
Coördinaten: 52°52’22.3″N 6°48’57.8″E