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On 14 September, the Hoge Berg was awarded the title of Dutch Iconic Landscape! Lying between Den Burg and Oudeschild, this area is the oldest part of the island.
The Dutch Cultural Landscape Organization (VNC) has awarded this token of recognition to Texel for the excellent quality of its cultural history, ecology and scenic beauty. This is the second time a region of the Netherlands has been designated an Iconic Landscape.
The gentle rolling landscape with its striking numbers of tuunwallen (traditional partitions between plots) can only be found on Texel. But did you know that the kolken (pools of drinking water) and the plants and wildlife of this area should be viewed as unique too? All sorts of creatures make their homes on the Hoge Berg, such as the Tundra vole, the Texel mining bee and the natterjack toad, and plants, including dyer’s broom, sea pinks, the common bluebell and harebells, grow there.
Traditionally, Texel farmers would build the tuunwallen (Texel dialect for tuinwallen) with sods of turf to fence off their land; most of those on the Hoge Berg date from 1562. Skeepeboete (Texel dialect for schapenboeten), small, asymmetrical barns, are dotted around the fields too. Practically all of them are built with their backs to the south-west to protect them from the prevailing wind, and offer shelter for the many sheep in the meadows.
The Hoge Berg is the perfect place for watching sheep on Texel all year round: flocks of sheep have grazed here between the tuunwallen. for centuries. Texel’s municipal authorities, Staatsbosbeheer (National Forest Service in the Netherlands), Natuurmonumenten (Society for the Preservation of Nature in the Netherlands), De Lieuw agricultural-nature society and the private owners of the land work very hard together to preserve the tuunwallen, the schapenboeten and the kolken as well as possible.