Green Circle Bee Landscape

Country: Netherlands (Coordinates: 52.121355, 4.497208 )
Size: 20,000 Hectares
Ecoregion: Terrestrial - Temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands
Status: Proposed

The Green Circle Bee-landscape covers an area of 20,000 ha and is situated in and between the cities of Leiden, Zoetermeer and Alphen a/d Rijn within the province of Zuid-Holland (the Netherlands). It aims at the return of bees, bumblebees, other pollinators and butterflies to the landscape through the creation of a regional, cohesive network of ecologically diverse habitats.

This is achieved by developing a social network of dedicated actors, helping them to create a common vision and supplying them with information on how to design an ecologically sustainable network of habitats for pollinators. This has already resulted in the adaptation of the management of business sites, municipal parks, private gardens, field margins and road verges.

Already entered into the Green Circle Bee-landscape social network are the municipalities in the region, i.e. Alphen a/d Rijn, Zoetermeer, Leiden, Leiderdorp and Zoeterwoude; the province of Zuid-Holland; the regional water management body (‘hoogheemraadschap’) Rijnland; the National water and infra management authority Rijkswaterstaat; Heineken Nederland B.V. and AkzoNobel B.V. representing business in the region; science institute Alterra, the national biodiversity centre Naturalis, the Vlinderstichting and the Stichting EIS representing science; the beekeepers society Leiden en omstreken; the non-governmental organizations IVN, ANV de Groene Klaver, Zuid-Hollands Landschap; and Societal organization Fonds 1818.

‘Biodiversity at the Brewery’ is among the first projects contributing to this bee-landscape, in which the brewery terrain of Heineken was transformed to increase biodiversity – without disrupting the industrial character of the site.

The  plan is to soon prepare a more detailed management plan which will address specific conservation actions, monitoring and evaluation, including:

  • Propose Bijenlandshap for VCA Registgration
  • A guide and helpdesk for land managers (practical hands-on information regarding habitat management for bees)
  • A method (eco-profiles)
  • Monitoring (baseline inventory)
  • Bee habitats around the brewery of Heineken, Bentwoud, Bijenhof Oostvlietpolder, Munniken Paider Leiderdorp; BIZ Grote polder
  • Flower strips along infrastructure
  • An agreement over the use of pesticides (municipalities do not use pesticides anymore). Farmers reduce the use of pesticides
  • Five more bee habitats

A campaign is also planned which will focus on citizens, farmers, local authorities and private companies.