The salt marshes at the northern coast between the seawall and the Wadden channel are the last remaining natural pasture in the Netherlands.
North coast salt marshes
The salt marshes north of Westernieland provide a good image of how the Groningen countryside looked prior to the construction of dykes which prevented the water from the Wadden Sea from flooding the land on which Groningen people lived. This area – the only genuine unspoilt pastures in the Netherlands – can be viewed from the dyke; regular excursions are held from the Wadloopcentrum in Pieterburen.
Wadden Sea area
Over the course of centuries, the area developed from a natural landscape in a man-made landscape, with terps, dikes, and farms. The Wadden area extends from Den Helder in the Netherlands, as far as Esbjerg, Denmark. The area’s inhabitants have crusaded against the water for centuries, and this has changed the landscape from a natural to a man-made one, with terps, dikes, and farms.