The Twickel Estate
Preservation of the valuable man-made landscape
The main objective of Farming for Nature is that agriculture can play a much bigger role in the maintenance of nature and landscapes than is currently the case. Few places in the Netherlands show this in a better way than the Twickel Estate, in Delden in the Province of Overijssel. The privately maintained estate covers 4,000 hectares, of which 2,000 are agricultural land, on which 50 tenants make a living. Characteristic for the estate are the impressive castle, the numerous historically valuable farms and the beautiful, varied, small-scale landscape. The heather fields, brook dales, forests, lanes, wooded banks and sloping fields offer a wealth of beautiful scenery and biodiversity. Essential for the preservation of this man-made landscape is the existence of agricultural activity. This keeps the landscape open and intact regarding cultural heritage. Furthermore, the rent forms the economical backbone of the estate.
Nature and landscape as economic driving forces
For the farmers, the beautiful small-scale landscape more and more forms a hindrance to a profitable management. Maintenance costs are very high and the earnings are low because the parcels are small and sometimes wet and are bordered by wooded banks and groups of trees. If the income of the tenants should only come from the agricultural production, for many of them the perspective would be very limited. The concept Farming for Nature could give both the estate and the farmers new opportunities. Nature and landscape would contribute to the farm income. A steady income is important to be able to pay the rent, which is necessary to preserve the estate.