Natuurmonumenten was founded in 1905 by the two founding fathers of nature conservation in the Netherlands, Jac. P. Thijsse and Eli Heimans.
Their aim was to improve the quality of life in the Netherlands by preserving nature, landscape and cultural history. Over the last century, the society has continued this work through its permanent staff and volunteers. By acquiring natural areas, the society can protect animals and plants which are native to this country and enable people to enjoy the countryside by providing footpaths, cycle paths, observation points and excursions.
Natuurmonumenten is a society with over 730.000 members, run by a management team, board and a member’s council. As a society, its members have a say in its decisions and policies. Thirteen district committees represent the members in their district. Together, these district committees form the council, which meets with the board of directors to discuss and decide on general policy issues. The district representatives are familiar with the policy and actively seek the opinions of members in their district by organising excursions, member evenings and theme meetings.
As a result of its acquisition policy, Natuurmonumenten now manages and protects 101,066 hectares distributed over 345 areas in the Netherlands. In order to further develop the ecological infrastructure, Natuurmonumenten recognises the importance of working together with other conservation organisations. This will make it possible to create a national ecological network, which is a series of interlinked nature areas, thus expanding the area available for animals and plants.
In the Netherlands, Natuurmonumenten works together with other conservation organisations, provinces, municipalities, water authorities and local residents to create links between people and nature. It also has international connections with fellow organisations in Germany and Belgium. The society is currently working on Natura 2000, a European network of protected sites for habitat and species conservation. This network is important for protecting biodiversity on a European level as well as a national level. A sustainable and healthy natural environment is vital for life and for living and must be safeguarded.
Schaep en Burgh
1243 JJ ’s-Graveland
Phone +31 35 655 99 33
Post Box 9955
1243 ZS ’s-Graveland