Polder van Biesland
The last green polder
The Polder van Biesland is part of the green enclave that stretches from Delft to Zoetermeer. In the last decade this green polder enclave has become smaller due to the relentless urbanisation, greenhouse farming and afforestation. The critical size to experience the openness of the area seems to have been reached. There is only a surface of 1,4km by 8km left, in which the Polder van Biesland and the Bieslandse Bovenpolder are the biggest open units by far. The enclave is of huge importance to keeping this strongly urbanised part of Holland liveable.
It is the back garden of Delft, The Hague (Ypenburg), Zoetermeer and Pijnacker-Nootdorp and that is why it is one of the most visited agricultural areas in the Randstad. Especially the agricultural activities contribute strongly to the identity of the region and the associated natural values. The attractive banks along the extensive ditch pattern and the big population of meadow birds make a beautiful scenery for the visitor. Walking around, the citizen gets closely in touch with a dairy farm and the rich nature and cultural heritage of the landscape.
The Polder van Biesland was reclaimed in 1783 after the peat had been excavated. The peat had been removed until the clay stratum surfaced, which was rich with organic matter and it delivered very fruitful agricultural land, which it still is today. Hence, the polder is a reclaimed piece of land, about 4 to 5 meters below sea level.
The polder still has the characteristics of an historical, open agricultural area with the typical long-stretched parcel pattern. The proximity of Delft is noticed in the whole of the Polder van Biesland, with the tower of the New Church as a remarkable landmark. The more recent buildings like the University of Delft and Ikea are clearly visible. Although one can experience a certain peace and quiet in the polder, a constant noise in the background illustrates the real situation in the highly urbanised Randstad.