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Competition Bedrijvig Groen/ Bird Hub/ Noord-Holland/ NL/ 2017


Meadow Birds

The meadow birds have a hard time in the province Noord-Holland. Due to changing agriculture, much biotope disappears or decreases strongly in quality. In addition, the pasture population deteriorates sharply due to predation. The birds can’t compete with the power of the economy. Without the intensification of current efforts for meadow birds, the decline will not be stopped. With the exception of the Tureluur, the waders Scholekster, Grutto, Kievit, Kluut, Houtsnip and Kemphaan are all showing a negative trend between 1990 and 2015. The numbers are decreasing dramatically in other meadow birds such as the Gele Kwikstaart, Veldleeuwerik, Graspieper and Patrijs. Meadow birds are actually culture followers and characteristic of the Noord-Holland landscape. The natural habitat consists of tundra, steppe, salt marsh and beach meadows. Through human activity, the natural habitat has already disappeared and they have settled in the wet meadows in the west to nest and forage in the summer. Many birds migrate to the south in winter. The Grutto leaves for West Africa to forage in the rice fields. The question is whether there is a possibility to compensate for the negative effects of the changing landscape. This can be done by adapting farming methods or by expanding the habitat. Now this is not easy in a densely populated Netherlands. For the ‘Bedrijvig Groen’ competition in Noord-Holland, we are looking for an improvement or expansion of biodiversity on industrial estates. The question is whether there is room to solve the problem for meadow birds in a business park?

Optigrün Benelux natuurdak



In many cases, a business park consists of a grid of closely connected company blocks with a height of 6 to 10 meters. Approximately 50% of the space on a business park is occupied by roof surface that is now used solely for the drainage of rainwater. By greening the roof surface and setting it up as a habitat for meadow birds, the natural space of the meadow landscape is extended. The possibilities for species to survive and propagate are increased. In the cycle of many birds the meadow landscape is the breeding ground. The advantage of the roof position is that the predation is considerably reduced. There is less performance pressure for the birds, so that success on offspring is greater. The birds have little trouble with disturbances during the breeding season and the grass can be mowed at the right time. In addition to increasing the habitat for grassland birds, the greening of the roof offers many advantages. It contributes positively to the climate and health in a business park, it compensates for the lack of green and is energy and water-saving. The green space on the roof can be used as an office environment. The establishment of business parks for meadow birds also ensures an overall increase in local biodiversity. For example, herb- and structure-rich grassland provides plenty of habitat for (pollinating) insects such as butterflies and bees. A species group which is also under threat. The addition of stones, gravel, open sand, pools, or dead wood can further increase local biodiversity. These places are also ideal food sources for the meadow birds.

Trend Oystercatcher 1990 en 2009 in breeding bird per hectare. (source SOVON)

Meadow bird population Noord-Holland 1990-2015. (source SOVON & CBS)

Project information


Name project : Bird Hub

Place : Provincie Noord-Holland

Country : Nederland


Name : Provincie Noord-Holland

Contact person : Jaap Bond/ gedeputeerde Economische Zaken

Character of the area

Strategy for biodiversity and meadow birds on business parks

Honorable mention

Area : Case business park Wormerveer