In the 18th and the 19th century, large sand drifts emerged in Holtingerveld. This was the result of farmers having too many sheep graze on the pastures. In addition, too much topsoil was removed. The topsoil got badly damaged, which gave the sand free play.
This way, the Ooster and Westerzand, the Uffelterzand and the Holtingerzand came into existence. The drifting sand threatened the fertile grounds and even the villages. By reducing the number of animals grazing there and the planting of trees, the sand was restrained. Few plants and animals can survive in this extreme terrain type. Grey hair-grass, Pearlwort spurrey and Bristly haircap are a few species that manage to survive in this harsh environment. Animals like Tiger Beetles and some kinds of grasshoppers and bees have adapted to the extreme conditions in this landscape. Today we’re valuing sand drifts more than people did back in the day. Not just for recreational purposes, but also because of the special natural aspects. That’s why the managing organisations are working to preserve this historical landscape.