land of and for sheep
Typical Texel is what you’ll find on De Hoge Berg. A modest height but a unique landscape you’ll only find on this island. Walk or cycle to the top for the most breathtaking views.
Sheep pastures, tuunwalls and gullies
De Hoge Berg is the highest part of Texel. Its fifteen-metre height might not seem all that impressive but its surroundings most certainly are. The island also has beaches, dunes, polders, forests and marshlands. But the typical Texel landscape with its sheep pastures, tunnwallen, schapenboeten and kolken (small water pools) remains the best preserved between Den Burg and Oudeschild. Explore De Hoge Berg on foot or by bike along beautiful trails through this second Dutch Icoonlandschap.
A landscape may only be called Icoonlandschap (Iconic Landscape) if it is ‘an area of extraordinary cultural landscape quality’. And the Hoge Berg on Texel surely qualifies with its tuunwallen landscape. Tuunwallen are low walls made of stacked sod. Farmers used them to fence off their pastures when the communal meadows disappeared and sheep were no longer allowed to graze freely. They had no wood to build fences and digging ditches in the dry ground was not an option. Though you can still find kolken where the sheep could go to drink.
Haubargs are also part of the tuunwallen landscape of Texel, just as the schapenboeten. These distinctive sheds were used to store farming tools and sheep feed. Schapenboeten look a bit like a lean-to with a sloping roof on three sides and a straight façade with an entrance on the fourth side. The entrance often faces northeast because the wind often comes from the southwest.
Sheep really left their mark on the Hoge Berg's landscape, which was formed on a push moraine from the Ice Age. In this rolling landscape you'll also catch a glimpse of a group of trees that have absolutely nothing to do with sheep. ’t Bossie. This small forest of oak trees is situated on a small hill on the southeastern slope of the Hoge Berg. Het Doolhof (The Maze), as the forest is sometimes still referred to, was once located here. Now it’s the ideal spot for a picnic with picturesque views that stretch all the way to the Wadden Sea.
There are various walking and cycling routes on the Hoge Berg. And explore the Skillepaadje from ‘t Bossie along the Skilsloot that takes you over a dike to the fishing village of Oudeschild. It's one of the most beautiful cycling paths on Texel.