Nature is everywhere, even in the city. Wherever people leave even a little space, nature shoots up. Along the sidewalk in the park against the jetties where the ferry arrives in Amsterdam-Noord. “Look,” says urban ecologist Fred Haaijen, “this is where nature arises to grow a forest.”
Naturally Noord-Holland has often been out and about with Fred. The enthusiastic ecologist employed by the municipality of Amsterdam has North as his natural habitat. Fred looks natural. “Look, those are flying grazers”, dependent on a few geese that eat algae from boulders on the banks of the IJ. Floating grazers, in this case. “It’s a couple of parents with their young, but watch Mom and Dad watch the environment, watch the youngsters eat.”
It is difficult for us to get away from the riparian zone around the EYE film museum. Fred’s eye finds something special everywhere. “Look at how those bees and bumblebees feast on the flowers!” What is tares to one is the food of the gods to another. “Nowadays, the park is no longer maiden as tightly as it used to be,” explains Fred.
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“As a result, many more native flowers bloom and that is super important for insects. Wild bees and bumblebees are part of this and do particularly well on the plants that have traditionally been found here. But also think of all those countless moths and flies that Through millions of years of evolution, those insects have become fused with the plants. A plant from the garden center usually comes from an exotic crop from the tropics. They must have weeds!”
A little further along the banks, it is quite a party. “Look, the municipality has sown a flower mixture that is based on native plants that bloom beautifully.” There are cuckoo flowers, daisies and of course dandelions. “Did you know there are hundreds of dandelions?”
More and more municipalities are giving space to indigenous nature in the public space, whether or not through cutbacks in greenery. “That’s super important,” says Fred. “Certainly now that nature is deteriorating in rural areas, especially in the areas many insects still have enough to eat. And that is the basis. Many insects are good for pollinating plants. turn again predators of messages. The past all together.”