What do you do when you’re interested in Dutch nature and want to know more about different issues around it? The FFN Academy organised the perfect workshop evening, where eager participants could lend some of their creative brainpower to 3 Dutch experts from different fields. Every specialist prepared a case study from their area of expertise, which we discussed in groups and presented the results and solutions to the other groups at the end of the evening. Elze Polman talked about ‘the return of the wolf to The Netherlands’, John van Duursen about ‘the restoration of Dutch peat bogs’ and Eelke Jongejans about ‘the decline of flying insects’.
Sounds pretty interesting right? It most certainly was!
We got an introduction talk about every case from the experts. Improving communication with the public was a clear trend through all cases, which is a challenging subject that a lot can be said about. We divided ourselves into 3 separate ‘task forces’ to tackle the case studies. At every table people were enthusiastically writing things down and were joined in active conversations.
Time flies when you’re having fun, because soon after we had to present our posters with results. From every group 2 people proudly presented their poster. The wolf group had lots of ideas on how to better inform the public about wolves in the Netherlands. They also had some interesting thoughts on helping farmers to scare away wolves with urine from other predators. The peat bog group had some great initiatives to attract people to peat bog areas for local tourism as well as making citizens feel more connected to the areas. The insect group promoted their ideas on changing farms into nature areas plus improving public awareness about Dutch insects.
Overall, everyone had come up with different approaches to their cases and to improving nature communication. We as participants got an insight to the problems with nature in the Netherlands, while the experts hopefully got to take new ideas and insights with them to their workplaces.
Finally we moved to the hallway where we had drinks and the opportunity to further discuss ideas that came up during the workshops. It was also a great moment to strengthen networks by meeting new people and chatting to old friends. Eventually, we stood there talking till the moment the building had to close. Overall, a great evening!
By Janneke Scheeres