Wildlife crossing - room for animals
On October 29, 2013, deputy Rein Munniksma officially inaugurated the new wildlife crossing on the A28. A few days later, nearly five hundred residents took advantage of the opportunity to take a look at the wildlife crossing and the 'supply strips'. An opportunity will not soon present itself again, as the crossing is now the exclusive domain of the animals.
The crossing itself had already been finished for a time. During the last months before the initiation, there was still work to be done on the design of the access lanes to the west and east. On the east side, the upper layer of the - enriched with fertilizers – grassland was excavated and to the west the young forest plantations on former farmland were cut down. Trenches and pits were dug on both sides. The nutrient-poor soil that was released was distributed over the wildlife crossing as a layer.
Also, puddles were built on top of the crossing and ‘plagsel’ was spread over the entire strip. The strip will consist of mostly open heathland. Grazing cows will keep the area open. They will remain within a frame that is easy passable for other (wild) animals. The edges of the wildlife crossing and the slopes on both sides are equipped with a planting of shrubs and low trees, that visually shield the crossing from the environment. A row of logs was placed on the crossing to help insects and other small animals find their way.
Also, cameras have been installed to record how the animals make use of the wildlife crossing. Tracks will be regularly counted for the same reason. The start is promising: during construction of the wildlife crossing deer were already ready to use it. Foxes, hares and rabbits have already left traces and badger traces have been found near the edge of the crossing. There have also been sightings of different kinds of butterflies. The Dwingelderveld and the Terhorsterzand have reconnected with each other thanks to the wildlife crossing. The coming years will focus on improving the ecological connection with nature further east, such as the Scharreveld. This connection will be relatively scanty due to the limited resources.
There are three marshes in a row in the northeast corner of the Dwingelderveld, near the entrance area to the wildlife crossing. The middle one was attenuated with tree stumps during the doubling of the A28. Meanwhile, it turned into a bump overgrown with birches. After examining the soil, it appeared possible to restore this marshland; there was still a layer of peat present. The restoration work was subsequently included in the development project. Now it's a pit that is filling itself with water.