The world’s largest man-made nature reserve has been awarded planning permission by the Dutch government.
The 29,000ha Nieuw Land National Park will be located close to Amsterdam on the bottom of the former Zuiderzee, and will incorporate four nature reserves created by land reclamation works in the 1950s and 1960s.
Dutch architect Mecanoo’s Nieuw Land masterplan will expand the reserves and create islands, marshlands, creeks, wet grasslands and water links for a continuous park and ecosystem. New travel links will also be created, with visitors able to visit the park by bike, canoe, on foot by electric vehicle.
Existing rest areas along the kilometre-long dikes will become pavilions with views over the waterways and park.
Nieuw Land will be primarily a bird reserve, providing protected species with food supplies and sheltered places for rest and breeding.
Francine Houben, Mecanoo founding partner, said: "Nieuw Land will be a new kind of national park, one in which visitor experience is central.
"The park will be an attractive and educational experience for all generations and will bring the city and nature closer together. It will feature many dikes, marshlands and reed landscapes, new islands, and even more flora and fauna – with space for rest, darkness to view the starry sky, wilderness, and adventure."
Work on the project will continue over the next 20 years.
Images courtesy of Mecanoo