Dutch Estate is taking action to conserve farmland biodiversity

20 May 2021 - Published by Francis Buner
Landgoed De Hoevens is a Dutch private estate of 190 ha, located in Brabant province. The area consists of woodland, meadows, arable land, lanes and hedgerows. In the spring of 2020, together with Jochem Sloothaak, coordinator of the Oude Doorn PARTRIDGE demonstration area, plans were made to implement measures to further enhance the biodiversity and landscape quality on the estate. Key species include the grey partridge, yellowhammer and turtle dove.

The main improvements comprised of newly planted multi-species hedgerows and measures in and along field edges. Examples of these measures include beetle banks, flower blocks, field margins and flower-rich borders. All these measures implemented together on the same farm create a more natural transition between the agricultural land and the already existing hedgerows and areas of high-quality habitat. In addition, larger fields were divided into smaller ones by planting hedges and sowing plots with a PARTRIDGE seed mix. As shown by previous studies (for an overview see our PARTRIDGE booklet), this approach creates more habitat variety and  hence increases biodiversity. The measures focus on cover from predators, provison of food and safe nesting sites.



New habitat plots


Consisting of over 25 elements, a total of almost 5 hectares of new habitat was created since last autumn. Three of these new habitat plots provide feeding habitat for the turtle dove. These measures were developed as part of 'Operation Turtle Dove' by Vogelbescherming Nederland (Bird protection organisation of the Netherlands). The other measures come from our PARTRIDGE project. The hedges were planted together with a team of volunteers and have a total length of 1.5 kilometers.



New hedgerow planted by volunteers


What has been realised here is a fantastic example of a cooperative effort, and is therefore a wonderful example to many other initiatives. Thanks to the two highly motivated estate owners, Floris and Caroline van der Lande-Vogels, the expert warden Kees Bastiaansen, several volunteers who help with the management and monitoring, and a number of experts in the field of ecology and subsidies, we expect the results of their stellar efforts to be visible already this summer.

View the estate's website here:


Written by Jochem Sloothaak, co-ordinator of the Oude Doorn PARTRIDGE demonstration area and edited by Fiona Torrance and Dr Francis Buner GWCT