At the bottom of this article you will find the sixth and final question of the TinyFindy summer contest, with which you can win an overnight stay in a Tiny House! Next week we’ll let you know how to submit the answers.
You have probably heard of the Peel Natuurdorpen initiative. With catchy headlines such as ‘10,000 Tiny Houses in new nature’ it attracted a lot of attention in the various media from August last year. An ambitious plan that will make many people very enthusiastic, while the other adopts a somewhat reserved attitude of ‘we’ll see if they manage a project of this magnitute’. The latter attitude is understandable, but there is definitely progress in Peel Natuurdorpen. Last week the latest news came out that the first pilot project will start this year.
It is undeniably quite an extensive plan: 3,500 hectares of new nature with 10,000 tiny houses in the Peel with space for approximately 30.000 inhabitants and sustainable agriculture. To deal with the jungle of regulations surrounding housing in the Netherlands and the sensitive issue of what should be done with vacant agricultural buildings alone is quite the challenge. Residency in the countryside is complicated. The future of the agricultural sector in relation to environmental problems as well. But the fact is that there are major challenges in this area, which require solutions ‘outside the box’.
Peel Natuurdorpen offers solutions for a wide range of problems and it also has a binding effect between the groups of stakeholders: farmers, nature conservationists and citizens/residents. Joining forces together for a better future and a healthier landscape. Or, as initiator Jan Ottens aptly puts it: ,,We are standing by watching our world go to hell, but we can also take action and make something beautiful out of it.”
Peel nature villages
The Peel Nature Villages project revolves around landscape agriculture: small and pleasant living in new nature on land owned by farmers. These farmers create new nature on their lands: forests, hedges and hedgerows, water features and herbaceous grassland, creating a beautiful scenic landscape. In the process they make the transition to a more nature-friendly and small-scale way of working. Tiny houses will be placed in this new nature, hidden between the trees.
Landscape forms the new revenue model for farmers, whereby the rental of Tiny Houses or plots for Tiny Houses supplements their income. The goal is the creation of new nature, the Tiny Houses (at most 3 per ha) are the means to make this financially feasible. This is unique in the Netherlands and far beyond.
First project in Zeeland this year
The first pilot project will start in Zeeland, a village in the municipality of Landerd. The environmental permit has been applied for three Tiny Houses, two of which will be used as residence and one that will serve as an showcase and meeting room. This pilot is the real starting shot for Peel Natuurdorpen. It will make it easier for the project team, consisting of Pierre Bos, Annie Martens and Jan Ottens, to show what their intention is. A plan of which you can show a concrete example is of course much more effective than merely a plan on paper. Practical experience can also be gained in this first pilot.
There is no lack of enthusiasm, various municipalities and farmers are interested in participating and there are no fewer than 2700 registrations from prospective residents. But before any real progress can be made, there are still a lot of open questions that need to be answered. How do you prevent speculation with the Tiny Houses? What about rent protection and how do you guarantee the income for the farmer? How can the municipality allow living on agricultural land and under what conditions? The team is working on all these issues, together with the municipalities involved, farmers and the province of Brabant.
Photo: Paul Driessen
They certainly don’t waste time at Peel Natuurdorpen. The project team has started a process to arrive at a core concept of landscape agriculture. This is a bottom-up process, in which aldermen, farmers and potential residents enter into a dialogue to shape the definition of landscape agriculture. When the definition is ready and widely supported, the group organizes a manifesto in which all manifest partners confirm that they support the definition.
A webinar will also be organized in September for the more than 2,700 people who have registered as residents. Information about the project will be shared and prospective residents will be given the opportunity to make their voices heard. Finally, a short promotional film is currently being made about Peel Natuurdorpen, which is almost ready, and the VPRO will soon start shooting for a film about the initiative.
There is no lack of attention as you can see, and quite rightly so. Peel Nature Villages is a game changer extraordinaire. A solution for such a broad spectrum of contemporary problems, supported by such a broad group of people and stakeholders, how can you not applaud it and join your energy to the growing community of supporters. Kudos to the initiators, for the enormous amount of time and energy they invest to make Peel Natuurdorpen happen. Very important work is being done here!
Want to know more? See www.peelnatuurdorp.nl
Summer competition: Greetings from…
This summer you can once again enjoy the imaginary journey of Finny Thow along water cities in the Netherlands. Finny is a wanderlust little house on wheels, who discovers the world with his friend Bob Spacious. If you guess where he is, you can win a free overnight stay in a Tiny House from EcoCabins at BaseCamp IJmuiden!
Finny en Bob, crossing Africa
Would you like to read more about Finny and Bob’s experiences? Then you can download the brand new picture book here for free, which Marcel has just completed with Tiny Publisher/Klein Wonen Magazine: Finny and Bob, across Africa. All correct entries also have a chance to win one of the three printed copies of ‘Finny and Bob, across Africa’, which we are offering as an extra prize. See also this article about the competition.
Where is Finny this time?
In the next blog you will see all holiday locations again and you can send the answers. So keep the answers and send them to us after the last roundup of six destinations in September.