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Farmers angered by scheming politicians wanting farms for ‘nature’

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LELYSTAD – Neatly maintained farmyards, surrounded on all sides by hundreds of acres of pasture and crops do not classify as nature in the Netherlands, or so it seems. The country’s newest province, Flevoland, now wants to turn another 2,000 hectares of 1960s reclaimed farmland into a nature park between the Oostvaardersplassen, a nature park, and the region’s young but fast-growing cities Lelystad, Almere and Zeewolde. The area’s farmers will have to relocate if the plans are realized. The farmers were specifically angered by the authorities when they discovered that permit restrictions had been put in place secretly, forcing them to seek approval from municipal as well as provincial entities for any building and expansion plans. Recently, in an angry protest, a group of farmers blockaded the provincial offices.