The following chapter is one that offers advice based on the research done within the project. Advice on the management strategies as well as the monitoring plan is given in this section of the report.
The management strategies that are already in place are ones that are already effective for a couple of year, however, to reach a more optimum effectiveness, these in addiction to other management strategies have to be enforces.
The establishment of a more frequent volunteer or gardening crew needs to be established. Right now, deforestation of pines is done every six months. Making sure that this is done on a more regular time scale will result in less fixation of nitrogen in the soil from the tree roots.
The farms that are around the dunes are one of the biggest contributors of the excess nitrogen deposition in the dunes. This is mainly due to the amount of cattle that can be found in the area. Making areas within and around the farms where the amount of live stock is limited would be a good management strategy. If all farms where limited to only a certain number of cattle or pigs this would reduce the amount of nutrients that leech into the soil and into the water table or in the precipitation. According to results analysed in the laboratory, it is evident that the areas that are closest to the farming zones have higher levels of ammonium indicating that this might be a possible source of the excess nitrates in soil.
Right now, there are already some established horse riding trails. Adding more of these would ensure that more remote corners of the dunes gets reached and when the horses walk on the grasses, this can result in them being uprooted at a younger developmental stage. This can also be good because not only would they be relying on the sheep for grazing but also the horses would be playing a part.
The awareness for the issue in the National Park the Loon and Drunen Dunes is one that is lacking. Making signs for the people who come to visit the dunes for recreational purposes will enable them to be educated on the issue. According to the Natuurmonumenten, this is something that would degrade the aesthetic value of the dunes but on interviews conducted with people who visit the dunes it was evident that they were not knowledgeable on the threats that the dunes face.
In addition to the management plan a monitoring plan is made that will help to track and assess the results of the interventions throughout the life of the program. This template can be used by Natuurmonumenten and future research groups to assess the progress that has been made and if additional measures are needed. The template can be found in here.
The monitoring plan goes into detail about different subjects that have been discussed and researched in this report. In the conclusion of this report it was stated that methods used in this report could be used to monitor any changes in the area of study or could monitor the effectiveness of measurements taken (for example the new management plan). Most steps that have been taken during the research should be taken annually to get a better understanding of the problems that have been assessed in this report. The GIS layer and the analysation of the soil and ground water are an example of this. Annual research of the soil and groundwater will give a better understanding of the annual condition of the soil and groundwater. In this way, the conclusion of this report can be reassessed, and measurement taken in the future can be evaluated. The annual GIS layer can give a clear insight in how much the area changes in a year and if measurements taken have any effect on preserving the area. In this way, yearly feedback on the different management types can be delivered as well to all parties involved.
In addition to this extra research is needed to identify the ideal living conditions of the species that are protected by Natura 2000. By knowing this future research is made easier and targets can be set to strive for the ideal soil and groundwater conditions in the national park.
And lastly, the awareness of the visitors of the park should be increased. Currently 0% of the visitors of the national park is aware of the problems that the park faces. This could prove valuable because most of the pollution comes from activities and the consumption of these visitors.
This study found that there are still certain steps needed to fully increase the effectiveness of the management plan and that a new monitoring plan is needed. Thus, certain actions are recommended to different parties regarding to this subject. This report recommends:
- Implement changes to the management plan
- Implement new monitoring plan, to monitor the area or monitor the effect of future measurements taken
- Research, together with a research institute, the ideal soil conditions of the vegetations that need to be preserved.
- Improve the awareness of the problems that the park faces under the visitors
- Increase heather area in the future, this can be accomplished by using the changes to the management plan and using the new monitoring plan
annual succession maps and soil and groundwater analyses in collaboration with