Dutch nature reserve to organise safaris

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A state-owned nature reserve east of Amsterdam will organise safaris and other commercial events to raise additional funds for its maintenance and improvement, the National Parks Service has announced.

The pilot project in the Oostvaardersplassen, located in the Flevopolder, is scheduled to begin in mid-April. It aims to determine whether there is sufficient interest among the public for such activities. The reserve will also host - under strict conditions - weddings, overnight stays and luxury picnics.

Until now the reserve only welcomed hikers and field trips. Fifty commercial events are planned between April and December.

The money the reserve hopes to raise will be used to realise nature projects and to improve the habitat. It will charge 300 euros for a two-hour visit by five people. Visits of up 12 hours for a maximum of 50 people will cost 1,500 euros.

About half of the Oostvaardersplassen is marshland engineers failed to drain and turn into an industrial area. It is now home to thousands of geese and other water fowl, wild horses and deer, as well as a rich variety of other flora and fauna.

(cl/imm)

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