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Environment

European Green Capital Award - Good Practice Factsheet - Winterswijk - Do you know your national landscape?

EU Green Leaf Winner 2022

By educating citizens about the uniqueness of their surrounding landscape, the municipality of Winterswijk creates engagement and social connection.

Starting situation

Winterswijk is located in an area with unique heritage. It has rare flowers, plants and animals that are uncommon in the Netherlands. In the past, the municipality organised educational courses about the unique landscape for entrepreneurs. Now, the municipality decided to expand this from entrepreneurs to all of its citizens so they can learn about this special environment. 

Do you know your national landscape?1
Winterswijk
Jan Stronks

Implementation

The programme was first launched in 2018 and today consists of 3 evening workshops and two field trips per session.

The 3 workshops cover many topics of discussion, including

  • soil
  • geology
  • structure of the landscape
  • nature
  • cultural history
Do you know your national landscape?2
Quarry in Winterswijk
Jan Stronks

After the three workshops, two field trips took the group of participants to two different landscape locations in the area.

When the programme was launched in 2018, Winterswijk was unsure of how many people wanted to join. Only 30 people could be accommodated at the time, and the workshops sold out very quickly. The feedback after the programme was very positive so the city repeated the programme multiple times in 2019. The workshops are free of charge. 

Do you know your national landscape?3
Natura2000 area of Korenburgerveen
Jan Stronks

Results

People were very happy with the programme. While the programme also allowed partial participation, everybody was very engaged and showed up for all of the sessions.

Do you know your national landscape?4
Boven Slinge River
Jan Stronks

Challenges

Unfortunately, even though there were enough enthusiastic people to continue, restrictions were imposed due to COVID-19. The programme is planned to continue once restrictions are lifted. It would be possible to do it online, but workshops are also meant for citizens to socialise. For this reason, the organisers have decided to wait until the programme can take place on-site.