Location 3: Veerweg – Introduction

Welcome to the Veerweg! As the name suggests, at the end of this road the ferry (veer in Dutch) sails to the other side of the river Rhine. If you continue straight on this path, you will arrive at the Rhine. This whole area around you are the floodplains. This is the place for the Rhine to divert if necessary, if extra water flows in the river. To promote water flow, the vegetation is kept short by mowing management and cattle grazing.

You have probably walked on the higher path and now you see a higher grassland part on your left hand side and a lower part with grass and a bit of forest on the right. This is not a purely natural situation here, since the floodplains have been intensively used over the past couple of hundred years.

First they were mainly in use as grassland (the first map), but you might have already noticed the soil type here, its clay. And what can you do with clay? Make bricks! And this is what happened during the 20th century (second map), until a few decades ago. If you look towards the south-west you can still see the chimney of the old stone factory.

This difference in height here is created by different amounts of clay that have been extracted here. This has created a nice gradient in abiotic conditions and thus vegetation. On the maps below, which can be found on topotijdreis.nl, you can see this history. Have a look at them and see which features you can still recognize today. The bike parking place is indicated with the red dot. It’s up to you to explore this now!











Be aware that you should spend around 45 minutes at each location, if you have time left, you can go the point with a star ⭐️, here is a bonus question.🚩 Flags have been put down on the ground to indicate the precise location of each point on the map. Are some points busy with other students? Spread out!