Although the four Kroon’s Polders are famous for their natural beauty and abundance of birds, the area is also a water heritage. The Kroon’s polders are named after the legendary P.A. Kroon, Supervisor from the Ministry of Waterways and Public Works who was stationed on Vlieland from 1900.
Inspired by the success of the construction of the drift dikes on Texel and Ameland, the Ministry of Waterways and Public Works decided to do a pilot project at what was then the very low Meeuwenduinen. The island was very narrow here, so a crack was not unthinkable.
Kroon had branches and reed placed at what is now the Polderweg and drift dikes formed very quickly. By building various drift dikes next to each other polders formed quickly and vegetation begun to grow.
The results were very promising as Vlieland had always had a shortage of pasture and land for growing hay. Between 1909 and 1925 he succeeded in creating three large polders on the then bare eastern side of Vliehors. This was considered to be good-quality grassland by the islanders.
The young area was green but still too wet for grazing cattle.
Farmer Jan Cupido, who lived in the Posthuys at that time, built a windmill on the perpendicular dike to drain the polder. Unfortunately the polders still remained too wet and agriculture never became possible.
The air force used the Fourth Polder as a runway for awhile where light propeller planes could land and take off. But the water level continued to cause problems. With the arrival of the helicopter and an increase in tourism it was decided to turn the area into a nature reserve. It is now an avian paradise attracting more than 200 different species of birds.
In 2016 the entire water levels in the Kroon’s polders were reworked and a new birdwatchers’ hut was built in the second polder. There is now a set of steps leading up to a viewing hideaway on the dike along the Fourth Polder (adjacent to the Wadden Sea). Come and take a look!