Bringing nature into the city

Dwergvleermuis in volle vlucht
© Barracuda1983 ~ wikimedia commons

Bringing nature into the city

We aim for maximum biodiversity on and around our building. But what can we do to increase it?


Nature has a lot to endure in a country such as the Netherlands. So where nature and city meet, a helping hand is definitely welcome.  NIOO’s present location very much fits that bill, as it is situated between two national parks: the Veluwe and Utrechtse Heuvelrug.

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With partners including the Hedge & Landscape Foundation, Dutch Butterfly Conservation and the Society for the Protection of Birds, NIOO aims for maximum biodiversity in its grounds. Initiatives include the restoration and renewal of old hedges. Old alder pollards were returned to their original location after the end of the construction work, and all around the grounds distinctive ditches and wooded banks have been constructed.

These wooded banks are home to a range of indigenous plants including hawthorn, blackthorn, pedunculate oak, rowan, hazel and cardinal’s hat. After a number of years of growth, the banks are used to form woven hedges: a kind of ecological barbed wire.

Wild plant and insect gardens in the grounds are rich and varied. Other projects include a hotel for swifts and a bat cellar in a repurposed bunker located along a quiet section of the bank. The results of this biodiversity development strategy will be monitored over the coming years.