Latest news and developments

Vereniging Nederlands Cultuurlandschap
Vereniging Nederlands Cultuurlandschap
Nederlands cultuurlandschap

Landscape contribution: thanks to all the pilgrims who recently registered, we have just transferred with much pleasure € 150 to ‘Vereniging Nederlands Cultuurlandschap (the Dutch Cultural Landscape Association). Specially for their: “Delta Plan for the Landscape”.

In this delta plan, 200,000 kilometers of Dutch fields, grass and ditch edges are designated as a green zone. Think of hedges and flowery strips that are good for insects and birds. Farmers get paid to manage the zone and everyone can enjoy the beauty through new walking and cycling paths. There is a model area of the plan in the Ooijpolder – the Walk of Wisdom walks past it (route maps 3 and 4).

Pollard willows Ooijpolder, model area Delta Plan for the Landscape

The clever thing about the plan is that nature lovers and farmers are not opposed to each other. They work together. The plan puts 12 billion euros into a fund once. The farmers are paid out of the annual revenue of 600 million euros. Thanks to this construction the plan is independent of uncertain subsidies “into eternity”.

FIVE times around the world

In an extensive analysis in ‘Vrij Nederland’, creator Jaap Dirkmaat states that we can restore the cultural landscape of the Netherlands with 80% of its biodiversity: the diversity of plants and animals that the Netherlands has to offer. It would create a green ribbon that goes around the earth five times. A blessing in a time of massive extinction of species due to the disappearance of their habitats and the use of poison. In combination with organic farmers without poison, the profit is even greater.

Top sport

“We must turn biodiversity into a top sport,” concludes Jaap Dirkmaat. That sounds good. Because even in top sport the impossible dream is the basis. Real Olympians cycle against the same mountain every day if necessary. And ultimately realize their dream – to the satisfaction of an entire country.

The Dutch article in Vrij Nederland

More about the contagiously ambitious “Delta Plan for the Dutch Landscape” on the website of ‘Nederlands Cultuurlandschap’ (it is in Dutch): link.

Landscape contribution Walk of Wisdom

We set aside at least € 1 of the registration fee for each pilgrim to pay for nature and landscape projects along the route. This year we hope to welcome around 1,500 new pilgrims. We are on schedule. More about registering: link

Pictures by Nederlands Cultuurlandschap

Our start and end point the Stevenskerk will start a pilot with an entrance fee of €2 from the 1st of August. Pilgrims who start or finish their journey can enter for free. Note: this new situation will not be clear to all volunteers right away, but as a pilgrim you can refer to the information folder that is behind their counter.

Why an entrance fee?
The Stevenskerk is facing major expenses on maintenance and sustainability. She receives a subsidy of 5.5 million euros from the government for this, providing that the church itself supplements the amount with 2.3 million euros. The foundation is given 10 years to do this. In order not to become too dependent on subsidy providers, the foundation wants to investigate with this pilot of asking entrance fee whether it can achieve a higher personal contribution for the planned projects.

After the pilot ends (1st of December), an evaluation will take place. Therefore it is not yet possible to say whether the entrance fee will become a permanent measure. The hope is that most visitors are willing to contribute to the preservation of the beautiful monument from 1273 with their visit.

As Walk of Wisdom, we pay for the minor maintenance of the church one day a year via the Steveniers contribution of € 365. As a thank you to the hospitality of the church for WoW pilgrims we have transferred €300 extra this week. If you can miss something when you walk past the donation column: all bits help!!

Stevenskerk, by Bart Kouwenberg

Our Walk of Wisdom won the people’s award in the election of the Gelderland province for quality of landscape. The jury selected us to the top five, but awarded it’s jury prize to a smart city project in Arnhem resurfacing an old river in the inner city. The public voted Walk of Wisdom as no. 1 with 336 votes, a clear sign of approval from followers.  

Pioneer Damiaan Messing: “We see this as a big thumbs up from pilgrims who walked our trail and took the rather tedious and elaborate effort to vote for us. We promise to invest the €10.000,- in the further development of a meaningful, ecological sensitive rite to inspire those who walk the talk of self realization and sustainability.”

Walk of Wisdom: ” a pearl “

From the press release of the province of Gelderland: “Out of 1712 votes for 15 projects the Walk of Wisdom came out strongest. The stunning diversity of landscapes around Nijmegen as mirror to the soul. With on the road a symbol as compass telling us man is not separate from nature, but part of it. ‘A pilgrimage to reconnect with life, nature and our surroundings: a pearl’ – one of the voters motivated.”

We can but blush… Thank you to all our supporters!

The prize was awarded by one the board members of the province Josan Meijers and former vice prime minister of the Netherlands Jan Terlouw.

Landscape – differently

The Gelderland Peize die quality of landscape his awarded every two year. This year’s theme – landscape, differently – fitted well with pilgrimage.

Sint Jansbeek: audacious city transformation

The winner of the juryprijs was het stedelijke beeklandschap de Sint Jansbeek, refiguring one of the old streams of Arnhem in the city and thus tranforming the public face.

The complete juryrapport.

Duivelsberg, Walk of Wisdom, door Thomas Hontelez
Duivelsberg, Walk of Wisdom, door Thomas Hontelez

With joy we donated €150,- for the Dutch conservation trust to maintain the Palland Valley. The valley is kept to demonstrate the original Dutch landschape with braided and wooded hedges. The trust campaigns for funds to restore this landscape. Our pilgrimage passes through the valley and we are glad to help our.

We donate €1,- for each pilgrim to the landschape on our pilgrimage.

Our English routeguide is printed! Read the poem former Nijmegen city poet laureate Frouke Arns wrote for our pilgrimage in translation by John Irons.

Short practical guide for the modern pilgrim 

Take a selfie before setting out, then leave
your mobile to its own devices. Now only you

have access to yourself. You must charge your own battery.
Your footsteps fall in with those who’ve gone before and yet

this journey feels as if new. Travel light-footed. A map your guide
on which the outline of a pigeon in full flight points out the way.

Be easy to spot from your lack of luggage, most of which is
in your head and heart, that ancient garden of images. Add birds

that sit on wires like a music score. Decipher the song
especially composed for you. Thread the rings on your shoestring.

Reach after days across the open fields your destination.
The horizon slowly releases you from waving countryside.

Take another selfie when you return. Look for differences.
You have come this far.

Frouke Arns
(translation: John Irons)

Many thanks to our volunteers Stuart Harris and Daniëlle Slootjes who translated our routeguide. After months of work we were able to send the english edtion to the printer. We expect the guides mid June and hope to finish our website english ediiton by then to welcome from abroad!

De eerste Walk of Wisdom pelgrims vanover de oceaan

This morning, as the 2654th and 2655th pilgrim, Sam Sokolsky-Tifft from Massachusetts and Spencer Wilson from Georgia left tot a Walk of Wisdom. The two Americans were very interested in the journey – “good for our soul” – and will test a translation of the route guide by two of our volunteers. Thanks to Stuart Harris and Daniëlle Slootjes!