'De Hel', 'Blauwe Hel' and 'Bennekomse Meent' are nature reserves in the nature conservation area the 'Binnenveld' in the Netherlands. Since 2014, these areas are a Natura 2000 site. Natura 2000 is a European network of protected natural areas. The provinces of Utrecht and Gelderland, and the Vallei and Veluwe Water Board, are responsible for maintaining and improving these nature reserves. The areas are very special: in the 113 hectare area you can find blue moor grass, quaking bog and varnished hook-moss.
In the future, various measures will be implemented to maintain and improve the special Natura 2000 site. Before this happens, it is necessary to establish a baseline situation. The current water levels are recorded and it is checked whether surrounding plots and homes are affected by flooding. A number of monitoring wells will be installed for this purpose in order to be able to make detailed statements about the initial groundwater levels. Royal Eijkelkamp supplied and installed ten telemetric high-frequency groundwater monitoring systems. These consist of: Diver water level loggers, Global Data Transmitters and the Royal Eijkelkamp Web Portal including data validation. The baseline measurement takes about a year.
After the baseline measurement, so-called internal measures will be implemented within the nature reserves until 2021. The aim of the measures is to promote the supply of seepage. Seepage is groundwater that leaves the soil under pressure at the surface. In addition, the measures must prevent the formation of rainwater lenses. These are thin layers of freshwater in the soil that float directly on saltwater due to differences in density. Existing canals and ditches will be dammed and shoaled for this purpose. In addition, an important part of the wood storage in the Natura 2000 area, such as forest and shrubbery, will be removed. Shrubbery is a vegetation that mainly consists of bushes from one to five meters high.
The nature reserves are also monitored after the baseline measurement. In this way it can be determined whether the measures have had sufficient effect to achieve the conservation objectives. If it seems that insufficient rehydration has occurred or that further expansion of the plant distribution area is necessary, additional measures can be taken after 2021.
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