Few European countries are as closely linked to the sea as the Netherlands. With a coastline of 2,000 km, almost half the country lies below sea level.
Without protection, the Netherlands would be completely flooded by the North Sea. But the Dutch are in their element when it comes to the sea. Up until a hundred years ago, they used to pump the water from the lowlands back to the canals behind the dykes. Later, they built modern flood barriers and huge dams and even painstakingly reclaimed large areas from the relentless sea. They made ‘Niew Land’, where wild horses fight and foxes build their dens.
The Netherlands is bursting with astounding nature, from seals and spoonbills, red and fallow deer, marsh harriers, to beavers and even otters. And all of this in one of Europe’s most densely populated countries.