Integrating landscape management and nature conservation in farming systems in the Friesian Woodlands


  • P. Swagemakers
  • J.S.C. Wiskerke


The future of agriculture and its role in rural areas is a topic of ongoing societal, political and scientific debate in Europe. Rural development, characterized by integrating functions such as food production, nature conservation and landscape management, can be considered a promising paradigm for the future. Based on a case study from the Friesian Woodlands (in the northern part of The Netherlands) we demonstrate that the practices of and strategies pursued by dairy farmers regarding the management of nature and landscape are considerably different. Preliminary results of the research project are presented in this paper by distinguishing three approaches of farmers – presented by means of portraits –, which differ according to the role nature and landscape management plays in the farm household strategy as a whole. Although further research on the sustainability of the different approaches at farm and regional level is required, we conclude that it is important to improve our understanding of the differential dynamics of the interaction between farming, nature and landscape to sustain the management of nature and landscapes in agricultural areas