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De Fochtel Monument


Since 2010, natural processes have been allowed to operate in this part of the Fochteloërveen nature reserve. This helps to provide an important buffer for the remaining raised bogs.

Raised bogs only develop on land where rainwater accumulates. This is one of the reasons why Natuurmonumenten, the organisation that preserves landscapes and cultural heritage in the Netherlands, took steps to ensure that the land remains saturated. This prevents groundwater from drying out so the raised bogs can recover and thrive.

The De Fochtel monument was unveiled in 2013 to mark the completion of seven years of work that created 550 hectares of ‘new nature’ in the area.

The words on the monument were contributed by Groningen poet Willem Tjebbe Oostenbrink. Loosely translated they say: ""De Fochtel... where trees and shrubs submerge emerging sedge is where I can grow.""

The Compagnonsveld was an area of peatland owned by countrymen. They leased the land to peat masters who then had the right to cut the peat for several years. Once all of the peat had been removed, the countrymen sold the land to farmers, who used it to grow crops and raise livestock.

However, in places such as this, nature is very much left to its own devices. Here, waterlogged peat is more than welcome.

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