Bird paradise

Punt van Reide is a narrow peninsula outside of the dike. Its location makes it an oasis of tranquillity. A large number of sea and meadow birds such as Arctic terns, common redshanks, pied avocets and common ringed plovers thrive here.​

Nature has free rein. Part of the quay, made up of blocks of basalt, has been removed to allow the sea water to flow in again. The plot of young marshland that was created houses many pioneer species such as glasswort. 

The Punt van Reide is located along the Eems-Dollard, an estuary of the Wadden Sea, where fresh and salt water meet and popular as a crèche for seals. The seal observation wall provides a great view without disturbing mother and pup.

This beautiful nature reserve must not be taken for granted. In the 1970s there were plans to build a large canal for ships through the Eems-Dollard. The canal was supposed to attract new industries as an alternative to the declining paperboard factories. The locks were already in place. 

But nature lovers protested and used the pied avocet as their mascot. A real ‘avocet crisis’ began that was fought out at a national level. In the end the environmentalists won, the plans were scrapped and the locks were torn down in 1990. Not a single drop of water ever ran through them. This is why you can now spot seals instead of ships on the Punt van Reide. 

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