Flora & fauna

  • National monument
    Both the castle and the park of Duivenvoorde have the status of national monument. The park with its magnificent views, lanes and meandering paths has a remarkable flora and fauna. There are many kinds of birds, such as the kingfisher and the European green woodpecker, and countless other animals like squirrels and bats. And let's not forget rare plant species, including the so-called 'stinzenflora': rare plants that were introduced in the gardens of noblemen and were specific to historic estates. The castle park is like a green oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the urban agglomerate, and is therefore popular with hikers and nature lovers.

    The vegetation of the Duivenvoorde park forest consists of oak and ash, a characteristic of many old estates. Aside from endemic plant species, the trees and shrubbery are also made up of some foreign plant species and cultures. Their presence and location help to emphasise the park-like character of the area.

    Duivenvoorde is home to five rare flower species: Italian arum, fumewort, snowdrop, yellow archangel, and bluebell. Additionally, there are various "less common" species, such as wood anemone, lily of the valley, common dogwood, giant fescue, early forget-me-not, Star-of-Bethlehem, Solomon's seal, redcurrant, gooseberry and red vein dock. The full list of species is over 7 pages long!

    The meadows have received particular care for several years now, in order to maintain the species diversity, or even increase it. The renovation of the park will increase the floristic value of the border vegetation.

    The faunistic value on Duivenvoorde mainly consists of birdlife. The list of animals below gives a good impression of the species that can be found on the estate.

    Breeding birds: great crested grebe, grey heron, mute swan, mallard, Egyptian goose, common buzzard, Eurasian hobby, common kestrel, pheasant, moorhen, coot, woodcock, wood pigeon, turtle dove, collared dove, cuckoo, brown owl, kingfisher, great spotted woodpecker, European green woodpecker, barn swallow, white wagtail, golden oriole, starling, Eurasian jay, magpie, jackdaw, carrion crow, Eurasian wren, dunnock, icterine warbler, wood warbler, Eurasian blackcap, common whitethroat, willow warbler, chiffchaff, goldcrest, spotted flycatcher, common redstart, robin, nightingale, blackbird, song thrush, mistle thrush, marsh tit, Eurasian blue tit, great tit, long-tailed bushtit, wood nuthatch, short-toed treecreeper, house sparrow, tree sparrow, chaffinch, bullfinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, and linnet.

    Fish: northern pike, carp, crucian carp, doctor fish, gudgeon, European bitterling, common bream, white bream, sunbleak, common roach, rudd, spined loach, eel, burbot, ten-spined stickleback, perch, zander, pond perch and ruffe.

    Mammals: hedgehog, pygmy shrew, common shrew, mole, bat, rabbit, hare, squirrel (remarkably present), muskrat, water vole, common vole, harvest mouse, wood mouse, black rat, brown rat, house mouse, fox, stoat, weasel, mink, forest polecat and deer.

    Meadow bird conservation
    The Duivenvoorde estate values meadow bird conservation, and has therefore signed certain contracts with various (tenant) farmers regarding their mowing policy. They promise to mow some grounds later than is common, for instance half May or half June, and are in turn reimbursed. This gives meadow birds and their offspring a bigger chance of survival.

    Still, the black-tailed godwit, peewit, oystercatcher, and redshank make their nests in the meadows of Duivenvoorde, in particular in the Duivenvoorde polder in Wassenaar along the Veenwatering, and in the Knippolder near the mill at the Vliet.

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