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Natuurgebieden  Nature reserves in the Kop van Noord Holland.

At first glance, De Noordkop does not seem really spectacular. The flat landscape is dominated by extensive polders and fields. In the spring we can still enjoy the exuberant colors in the bulb fields, but the rest of the year De Noordkop provides a rather monotonous picture. Yet the beach and dunes are always close by. Even the Wadden Sea is around the corner. And there are also small nature reserves to discover between the polders. Areas that are especially popular with birds., because De Noordkop is above all an exceptionally quiet area, which does not care about the hectic life elsewhere.
There are plenty of beautiful natural areas for nature lovers:
* Het Zwanenwater ;
* The Noordhollands Duinreservaat , De Huisduinerpolder , Het Balgzand , Mariëndal , Het Nollenland at Abbestede , The Corner , two ancient duck decoys: 't Zand and Oudesluis , Kooibosch and Luttickduin , The Wild Kingdom .
Click HERE for a map of the areas.
* Furthermore, there are of course also the Texelse Duinen National Park , Dunes near Den Helder , Noordduinen , Pettemerduinen , and the Schoorlse Duinen , of which Climbing Dune is a part.
* Of course we should not forget the wadden where excursions are provided.
* At the bottom of the page you will find an overview of bird-rich areas that are easily accessible.

Click on a name above and you will read a short introduction to the area you have chosen. Click on INFO for more information about the area, excursions, etc.

Het Zwanenwater

In the dunes just south of Callantsoog is the Nature Reserve "Het Zwanenwater".
A 580 ha beautiful dune area with 2 large dune lakes, marshes, ponds, heather and a forest. Zwanenwater is best known for the spoonbill colony. In addition, there are many special plants such as wild orchids, flowers and herbs and it is a breeding ground for more than 70 bird species. Two walking routes have been mapped out in this area. From May to early August, various excursions are organized by a guide. During such a "dune safari" you leave the paths. With the forester you can wander in places that are otherwise inaccessible. This nature reserve is managed by Natuurmonumenten. The poetry route has been taking place in Callantsoog for 15 years. This cycling or walking route takes you past beautiful places and at the same time you can enjoy beautiful poems, which are scattered on plates.

Noordhollands Duinreservaat

The Noordhollands Duinreservaat covers some 5,300 hectares, making it one of the largest nature reserves in our country. The area is 20 kilometers long, on average 2.5 km wide and stretches from the village of Wijk aan Zee to the Schoorlse Duinen. Every kilometer in the area is different, with specific plant and animal species.

De Huisduinerpolder

The Huisduinerpolder is a small, swampy polder (9 hectares) between the allotments, the buildings, the seawall and the colossal Fort Erfprins. The polder was created by the construction of a dike between Huisduinen and Den Helder. The polder is partially accessible via the walkable Grasdijk and can be easily viewed from the dike of the Helderse Zeewering. There is an information panel and an observation point. From the Zeewering you have a beautiful view over the Razende Bol. You can visit the Lange Jaap lighthouse, once the highest lighthouse in the Netherlands. Riding school Bruin (north of the lighthouse) organizes beach rides on horseback. Phone: 0223 - 614 094.

The Balgzand

Since 1997, the old dike warehouse 't Kuitje near Den Helder has been used for various activities in and around Balgzand. Nature Information Center Balgzand is open on the second Sunday of the months of April to October. There is an exhibition, a slide show and aquariums with mudflats. If there is sufficient interest, there are also wad walking or bird excursions.
INFO 1 / INFO 2 / INFO 3


On December 9, 2005, one of the largest nature development projects in the Netherlands was started: 53 hectares of bulb soil in the polder Het Koegras was transformed into a nature reserve complete with low dunes, dune grasslands, a flowing dune riot, a large pool , a viewpoint and all kinds of water features. The area is called (New) Mariëndal and is part of the Dune Zoom Plan near Den Helder.

Het Nollenland at Abbestede

The Nollenland near Abbestede is located between Callantsoog and Groote Keeten and is owned by Landschap Noord-Holland. The area is a kind of transition zone between the dunes and the arable land and is characterized by small, undulating dunes. Because most of the nollen in Noord-Holland (remnants of walking dunes that had been blown into the hinterland) have been excavated over time, the 750-meter long series of dunes near Abbestede is of great scenic value.

The Corner

Het Hoekje (owned by Staatsbosbeheer) is located along the Noordhollands Kanaal just north of 't Zand. It is one of those surprising bushes in the middle of the bare bulb land. Because it is the only nature in the wide area, there is everything. It is a haven for songbirds and a whole host of animals.

Two ancient duck decoys: 't Zand and Oudesluis

In the Zijpepolder and Hazepolder are two centuries-old duck decoys: 't Zand and Oudesluis. The duck decoy to the northeast of the village of 't Zand (35 hectares) is regularly open to the public during the summer season. A great opportunity to get acquainted with the old and mysterious duck-cage company. The duck decoy was restored in the 1980s and furnished as a real demonstration cage. Captured ducks are ringed and released for scientific research. The birds can be viewed up close from the observation cabin at the Kooiplas. There is a visitor center near the cage, which is open before and after the guided tours (also accessible for disabled persons).

Kooibosch and Luttickduin

As the name implies, the Kooibosch is an old duck decoy. It is located on the east side of Callantsoog and is owned by the Forestry Commission. The lake was created during a dike breach around 1600, around which a forest was created. The catch arms of the duck decoy have now largely closed. The Luttickduin is freely accessible to visitors. The Kooibos, on the other hand, can only be visited during excursions. The Jeweldijk runs along and partly through the area, which is freely accessible to cyclists and walkers.

Het Wildrijk

The Wildrijk is one of the few deciduous forests in the area. The forest is located in the middle of the open bulb land of the Zijpe and Hazepolder, between the places Sint Maartensvlotbrug and Sint Maartenszee.

Texelse Duinen National Park

National Park Dunes of Texel roughly covers the entire Texel dune area, including sandbank De Hors, the Texel forests and De Slufter.
 map of Texel

The dune area of Texel is a varied landscape with many wet dune valleys between dry dunes, forests, heaths, salt marshes and an extensive beach plain. Many species of plants and animals have found their place in this varied area. The vastness of the sea and beach, the seclusion of forests and the extensive dune landscape make National Park Duinen van Texel a beautiful area to visit and a valuable area to protect.
INFO 1 / INFO 2 / INFO 3

Dunes near Den Helder

Den Helder is very active with ecological management of its own nature areas and is therefore a national and international pioneer with various projects. An example of this is the Dune Zoom Plan. This is an initiative to protect the western dunes more by creating space on the inner dune edge for nature conservation and nature recreation. The aim is to develop various characteristic wet and dry nature areas, in which some can be walked freely.
kaart van duinen bij Den Helder
Click on the map to enlarge.

Grafelijkheidsduinen is an 80 ha, beautiful dune area with meadows surrounded by higher dunes and a lower wet dune valley. The Donkere/Dark Dunes is 52 ha, Duinbos. Busy municipal nature reserve in which attempts are made to gradually restore the original vegetation. The area is accessible from sunrise to sunset. Also present: a deer park, picnic areas, petting zoo.


This strip of dunes has recently come under management at Landscape Noord-Holland. The dunes are not wide but contain some unique aspects of nature. There are extensive valleys with dune roses. Rabbits are also numerous locally. This while the numbers of this rodent have deteriorated sharply in many places in the Netherlands. Species that breed in rabbit holes benefit from this: wheatear and wood pigeons. The area is accessible by foot and cycle paths. A few wheatear walks are also organized every year.


Around 1597, a narrow strip of dunes formed the westernmost seawall of the Zijpe polder. Only two centuries later, about two hundred meters further into the sea, a new row of dunes emerged. You will now find the Pettemer dunes between those two lines. A whimsical nature reserve where you can take a beautiful walk. The area is managed by Staatsbosbeheer. The Pettemerduinen can be found north of Petten.

Schoorlse Duinen

The extensive dune area of Schoorl is one of the most beautiful in the Netherlands. The forest and dune area has been fully preserved and is considered the widest (5 km), highest (54m) and most beautiful dune area in the Netherlands, both in summer and out of season. In some places they are up to three miles wide. It is climbing and descending on the paths. Along bird-rich forests, open heather and undulating dunes. In some places the sand may even drift. The Schoorlse Duinen are popular with cyclists, horse riders and skaters. But also those seeking peace and quiet will get their money's worth.
But if you bring your dog, please keep it on a leash because some have gone missing here and were never found again. INFO 1 / INFO 2 / INFO 3 /

Klimduin/Climbing Dune

The most famous part of the Schoorl dunes, the highest dunes in the Netherlands with an area of 1800 ha, is the Klimduin. This dune (51m high) is located in the center of Schoorl and is climbed and descended by many tourists on the steep side near the village.
If there is snow, it is also fun to slide down with a sled or even ski.

The Wadden

The Wad Fishermen's Guild provides an informative and adventurous boat trip on the Wad, led by an experienced wad fisherman. Seals that you can see up close and crabs that we will catch ourselves during the cruise. The three best experiences on the Wad, included in one beautiful cruise! that is a very nice way to get to know the Wadden Sea ...

Areas rich in birds:

Den Helder is known as an area which is rich in birds, located at the northern tip of the North Holland peninsula. Due to its location, there is a lot to see especially during the spring and autumn migration and during storms because birds can gather well in this area. But other periods are also fine, partly due to the presence of the sea, beach, dunes, woods, polder, dike and the wadden.

Overview of areas which are rich in birds that are easily accessible:
Tesohaven and seaweed
Sea dike with various ramps
Gardens in Huisduinen
Noordduinen with beach entrances
Donkere/Dark Dunes
Refugium and Doggersplaat
Mariendal (2 bird viewing points and watchtower)
Canoe and cycle route Mariendal
Nollen Station Den Helder South
Nollen van Abbestede
Kooybos in Callantsoog
Lage + Hooge Oude Veer-Anna Paulowna
The Subsidence - Amstelmeer
Bellows sand compared to Amstelmeer (bird hide)
Balgzandpolder and t 'Kuitje
For observing seabirds, porpoises and seals, the sea turtle station at the old coastguard tower located in Huisduinen on the sea dike is a good location.