Nature in the Netherlands is diverse and unique. Nature reserves and their wealth of plant and animal species are under a government protection regime.
The Netherlands is situated at the mouth of major European rivers and borders the North Sea. This explains its rich variety of nature, with woodlands, rivers, marshland and sea all in close proximity. The government not only protects the nature reserves themselves but also the animal and plant species they support. It is committed to the international agreements that must halt the decline in biodiversity.
Most of the country’s inhabitants live in towns or cities. The rural area covers 80% of the country’s territory. The government wants rural areas to provide space not only for growing crops and livestock production but also for outdoor recreation and nature.