Prolander is shaping the landscape of Drenthe and Groningen

Prolander implements rural development commissioned by the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. Our staff consists of around 80 people, working on projects from highmoor rehabilitation in Bargerveen to area redevelopment in the Zuidelijk Westerkwartier region. It’s more than likely you are passing through one of our forty project areas, once you’re in the rural areas of Drenthe and Groningen.

In these projects, Prolander takes care of process management, integrated planning and design, preparation of tendering/building specifications, and implementation. Taking into account different and sometimes conflicting spatial functions and interests like nature, agriculture, entrepreneurship, water retention and tourism. Our tasks are often complicated and challenging. This way, we create beautiful nature areas for everybody to enjoy. We facilitate farmers by reallocating land close to their homesteads, which allows them more efficient farming. We also prevent wet feet (in future) by retaining water elsewhere.

To achieve these goals a lot of things need to be done behind the scenes. It varies from project management, communication, process design, land acquisition, land reallocation, advice on subsidies, landscape design to actual implementation. Therefore, we have a lot of specialists in-house: from ecologists to GIS analysts, from project leaders to real estate specialists. Yet we don’t have to do this all by ourselves. We involve stakeholders, specialists, constructive and transversal thinkers in our planning process. And last but certainly not least, we invite the locals to sketch and think with us from the get-go.

Prolander makes it happen! From policy -through process and design -to implementation.

Workshop: Bargerveen Buffer Zuid
Background information
The Bargerveen is a unique nature reserve of 2100 hectares. One of the last remaining high peatland areas in northwestern Europe. To preserve this peatland and to prevent desiccation, interventions are needed. In the current situation, the groundwater leaks away to the lower ground. As a result, the peat soil subsides and the peat moss can no longer grow. And so no new peat can be formed. That is why plans were made to raise the groundwater level to save the living bog (peatland). Within the Bargerveen-Schoonebeek project, various (water) buffer zones are being realized in and around Bargerveen reserve to preserve and strengthen the unique and vulnerable Bargerveen peat bog. By combining functions such as nature, recreation, agriculture and housing in thedevelopment of the buffers, nature conservation goes hand in hand with economic and sociale development in the area, with room for experience, activity and natural beauty.

A buffer zone of 220 hectares will be developed on the south side of the Bargerveen: Buffer South. The buffer runs as a kind of strip of 500 meters wide, along the entire south side of the peatland. Plenty of plans are being made for the design of this buffer. One thing is leading for the design of Buffer Zuid, the restoration of water management. Together with the parties involved, we try to achieve the most ideal situation for the area. Two important but apparently contradictory requirements are:
1. A higher water level for the benefit of the nature objectives
2. A lower (ground) water level for the benefit of agriculture

Since March 2020 it is not possible to organize (large) meetings in the village. What options are there to tackle this Corona proof and digitally?
We see a number of challenges:
– How do we ensure that the elderly participate? (for whom a digital setting can be a barrier)
– A meeting in the local community centre is often also fun and and an opportunity for social contact.
How do you create this opportunity to meet and socialize in a digital setting?
– At a local meeting there is the possibility afterwards to have a small talk and to hear what people (who do not dare to speak in public) think and want. How do you ensure an accessible conversation and a familiar environment (small talk) in a digital setting?

We are happy to talk to you about how to solve these issues.
We hope that you can inspire us to ultimately take steps in the planning process and ultimately the implementation