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Fochteloo Roaming Route

(29.0 km)

Fochteloo is one of the earliest inhabited areas of the Northern Netherlands. There were people living here before the Christian era. Back in the 1930s, traces of a prehistoric settlement were found on the cycle path near the Tachtig Bunder nature reserve.

In around 1850, the collapse of the peatland and improved drainage revealed the remains of a prehistoric forest. This primeval forest must have been felled centuries ago due to the encroachment of the peat and violent storms. So the name Fochteloo probably means ‘wet forest’.

Human activities such as deforestation, resource extract…

Fochteloo is one of the earliest inhabited areas of the Northern Netherlands. There were people living here before the Christian era. Back in the 1930s, traces of a prehistoric settlement were found on the cycle path near the Tachtig Bunder nature reserve.

In around 1850, the collapse of the peatland and improved drainage revealed the remains of a prehistoric forest. This primeval forest must have been felled centuries ago due to the encroachment of the peat and violent storms. So the name Fochteloo probably means ‘wet forest’.

Human activities such as deforestation, resource extraction, farming and parcelling of land have had a significant impact on the landscape in this area in recent centuries. Some of the earliest farming methods are still visible today in the form of the village greens, which originally served as common grazing land. These areas were spread with sheep manure mixed with heath sods. Over the centuries this repeated fertilisation raised the height of the greens.

In the 1970s, the introduction of large-scale farming, reparcelling of agricultural land and continued extraction of peat from raised bogs brought about significant changes in the landscape here. Fortunately, many replanting and landscape enhancement projects carried out soon after helped restore the area, which is well worth a visit.

Sights on this route

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62
60
76
78
63
64
66
75
77
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  • 62
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  • 76
  • 78
  • 63
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  • 75
  • 77
  • 58