Identification of visions for protected area management and quantification of their consequences in Utrechtse Heuvelrug and Kromme Rijn (Netherlands)

Anna Filyushkina
Published: 25 May 2020
Last edited: 25 May 2020
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The Kromme Rijn area is a dynamic cultural landscape, shaped by multiple uses and different elements of typical Dutch landscapes. Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park within this landscape includes important forest areas and biodiversity values, but is also of historical and recreational significance. The region needs to be multifunctional given the dense population and many expectations towards the landscape, but different use interests are not always compatible.


In order to develop new solutions, identify new directions for policy and help society move towards synergetic options, an „inclusive conservation“ approach is being applied. As a first step, different visions for the use and development of the landscape have been identified through stakeholder interviews. These will provide the basis for modelling the consequences of these different stakeholder vision. Finally, stakeholders will discuss the visions and their consequences, deciding on a joint vision and pathways towards it.


West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Grassland ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate grassland, savanna, shrubland
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Ecosystem services
Health and human wellbeing
Outreach & communications
Protected area management planning
Terrestrial spatial planning
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Ecosystem loss


Utrecht, Netherlands | Kromme Rijn area, Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park
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Inclusive conservation is part of the long-term strategy for a more harmonious alignment of different use interests and development of shared visions for the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and Kromme Rijn region. Using the STREAMLINE narrative approach and elements of participatory mapping we have conducted interviews with different stakeholders such as decision-makers as a local level, recreationists and residents. In these interviews we focused on their perceptions and visions for the area.


As a result we have identified four main visions:

  1. an inclusive landscape for sustainable living,
  2. productivity-oriented landscape,
  3. a peri-urban landscape of convenience, and
  4. environmentally-friendly landscape. Across these visions several tensions have emerged such as biodiversity conservation vs intensive farming (specifically nitrogen pollution), timber harvests in the National Park vs recreation and aesthetics, tranquility vs recreation or new roads or other infrastructure.

Additionally, potential spatial conflicts for land have been identified between infrastructure, energy production (i.e. wind mills), farming and biodiversity conservation. In next step we will map consequences of these visions and trade-offs. Such knowledge will then be used to co-develop shared visions for the area.

Contributed by

Anna Filyushkina