The whole place challenges an assumption long held about wildness. Generally people think of dense forestation when they think of wildness. In other words when you leave a place to its own devices it will naturally turn to forest. In terms of ecology this is known as succession and the theory goes that ecosystems unfold due to succession in much the same way as natural selection rules evolution.
Just a short journey away from Amsterdam there is one of the most remarkable nature conservation areas in the world. Oostvaardersplassen is a recreation of the landscape of the Europe of thousands of years ago, before mankind moved in and started managing the place. Even more remarkably, the whole project is situated on a polder - land reclaimed from the sea in 1968.
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