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Radboud universityFaculty of ScienceBiologyHOMEWEB MODULESLandscape and Nature Nijmegen > Ooijpolder


The life, work, nature and recreation areas of the Ooijpolder and the Millingerwaard are modeled by the water of the Waal:
Click on thumbnail for a zoom

the river Waal itself, old meanders (e.g. the "Oude Waal"), sedimentation banks, excavations of clay, gravel and sand, houses on dwelling hills, riparian lowland forests and meadows, the protecting and picturesque river dike and the pumping station as beating heart. The great diversity of types of natural resources in the Ooijpolder and the related "Millingerwaard" is protected and enhanced by the trans-border project "Gelderse Poort". Thanks to collaborations between among others World Wildlife Fund, Staatsbosbeheer and the Foundation Ark Nature a 'natural' en dynamic fluvial landscape has been allowed to develop, in which lowland riperian forests, river dunes and side streamings can arise. The Ooijpolder is a jewel for lovers of nature, in particular for walkers and bikers. But the Ooijpolder would be even more beautiful, attractive and rich in biodiversity if worthful landscape elements like hays, woodridges and paths would be reintroduced! Restoration projects in this direction are currently going on in the Ooij and elsewhere in the Netherlands (More information here about can be found at the bij het Visitors center Gelderse Gate, on "Nederland weer mooi" and at the Information center in Ubbergen where also a garden with 'Madurodam-style' demonstration landscapes can be visited. See also walking routes through the rural area of the Ooijpolder and the Duffelt and a detailed map by vianatura January 2009 with all accessible paths and roads).
Management of nature and landscape in the Gelderse Poort
Futuristic vision on landscape restoration
Ooijpolder-Before and after restoration natural landscape
Original photographs (in larger format and nicer colors), Valentijn te Plate, Vereniging voor Nederlands Cultuurlandschap
TV Broadcasts of Buitengewoon on the Gelderse Poort
BuitenGewoon walks around through the Gelderse Poort, the natural resource between Nijmegen and the German town Emmerich.
Duration: 32 minutes; Radio and TV Gelderland (in Dutch)
BuitenGewoon is again in the Gelderse Poort. In twinty years the area has developed from a merely agricultural sector to a place with one of the most beautiful natural resources of the Netherlands(TV Gelderland (in Dutch)

Due tot the presence of clay brought by the river agriculture has developed in the Ooij and especially in the 19th century the area has gained in importance with the manufacture of bricks. Signs of clay extraction in the past are still visible: ruines of former brick factories (e.g. the "steenfabriek" at the Vlietberg and along the Ooijse Bandijk near the Groenlanden), a network of the narrow railway and the bridge through the dike for the transport of bricks, ruines of a transformer house for power supply, workers cottages along the dikes and in the village Ooij, and flooded clay excavations, in particular in the Groenlanden. Another resource, gravel and sand digging has led to the formation of basins like that of the Kaliwaal and the Bisonbaai, now a pleasant swimming and recreation area. Traces of the so-called "IJssellinie" from the cold war period (around 1950-1968) can still be seen in the Groenlanden, where remainders of a field hospital, military defence construction (a.o. concrete plates casted around Sherman tanks) and parts of dams are scattered in the landscape; this protection line in the Ooijpolder was part of a more than 120km long and kilometer wide strip of land in the Eastern part of the Netherlands meant to be flooded with water from the Waal (Rhine) and IJssel in case of invasion by the Eastern Block. By sinking caissons in parts of the river bed the water would be retained and deviated to the land. This former defence barrier in the Ooijpolder has now be given back to nature. It has developed to meadows with wild flowers and herbs and shrubs,a true paradise for birds (and birds watchers!) and herbivores like Konik horses and Galloway bovines.

View Landscape around Nijmegen (vcbio) in a larger map Coordinates: (Lat, Long) 51,854124; 5,916996

Tips related to natural resources: the Foundation de ARK gives a lot of information on projects for the development of new natural reservation areas, the virtual tour on the site of the Gelderse Poort, a Video from TV Gelderland (2007, duration 32 min, in Dutch) in which "BuitenGewoon" wanders about in the the natural resources between Nijmegen and Emmerich, and the beautiful pictures and possibilities for excursions in More interesting sites on the Ooijpolder.

last modified: 1 Oct 2013