The sketch design for the new Buffer south of Bargerveen is ready. Stakeholders’ ideas and wishes have been visualized in a spatial design, commissioned by the Bargerveen-Schoonebeek Management Committee. Large bodies of water must help prevent water from leaking out of Bargerveen.
Yesterday, the sketch design for the layout of Buffer South was presented to residents and those interested in Nieuw-Schoonebeek. All official physical plans start in September. In addition to the zoning plan and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Buffer South, these also include the Water Act’s project plan and the zoning plan for the agricultural area around the buffer. The start of the procedure will be formally announced by Emmen municipality and the water council Vechtstromen. Anyone who feels like it has six weeks from that time to submit a point of view. If all goes well, the plans will be established in early 2023. In the meantime, the sketch design is further developed into a final design.
A buffer zone of no less than 220 hectares will be created between Bargerveen and Nieuw-Schoonebeek: Buffer South. This buffer will make an important contribution to the restoration of the water system in the southern part of Bargerveen and thus the restoration of the unique raised bog. The buffer runs like a strip 500 meters wide, along the current Stheemanstraat, from the German border to the Kerkenweg. This will be a buffer with very large water elements. The water functions are necessary to give ‘back pressure’ to the water that seeps out of Bargerveen.
In addition to restoring water management in Bargerveen, local residents and agriculture must keep their feet dry. Two seemingly conflicting requirements must be met: a higher water level for natural purposes and a lower (ground) water level for agriculture and the surrounding area. Based on calculations of the water level and in close collaboration with the area partners, the most ideal layout of the area has been prepared in the sketch design. Recreational facilities have also been involved in close consultation with Nieuw-Schoonebeek. There will be bike and hiking trails, nature playgrounds and the possibility of canoeing and dinner.
The area is divided into four ‘sections’ from east to west. In the first section on the east side, just under half of the surface will be flooded. From east to west, more and more water is entering the crates. The westernmost part has the most water. Because the subsoil in this section does not contain boulders – a clay-like layer – the soil allows more water to pass through. At a reasonably high water level, back pressure is applied to the place that leaks the most. The water from sections 2 and 3 is used during dry periods to maintain the water level in the last section. Water always stays here, but the level fluctuates. Section 1 is a more natural system because only water from Bargerveen flows to it. There is space in all rooms to store water in case of heavy rain.
Bargerveen is a unique nature reserve with one of the last pieces of living raised bog in the Netherlands. On behalf of the province of Drenthe, various parties work together in the Bargerveen-Schoonebeek Management Committee to preserve and strengthen Bargerveen. The raised heathland is a protected nature reserve and part of the Natura 2000 network. Groundwater is currently seeping from Bargerveen to the lower areas. Due to many years of use, the water system has been disrupted and Bargerveen is being emptied too quickly. If nothing changes, the peat dries up. To preserve the raised bog area, the soil must be kept stably wet. One of the initiatives for this is the construction of Buffer Syd. By constructing buffers around the peat, the water in the peat is maintained so that the peat is preserved and begins to grow.
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