Nature and landscape
At one time a vast bog area of about 30,000 ha existed along the borders of Brabant and Limburg. A large part of this bog disappeared after extraction of peat and subsequent cultivation of the land. About 4000 ha remained. De Groote Peel National Park covers about 1400 ha of this remaining bog. Other bog areas are De Deurnsche Peel and the Mariapeel.
Today De Groote Peel is an important nature reserve where peacefulness and grandeur remind us of the former bog. The scars caused by peat cutting, not only give the area a historical dimension, they also add variety to the scenery of water, marsh, heath and small areas of woodland. The big lakes, small peat pits, the Peel paths and Peel waterways form the visible history of peat extraction. Natural and cultural heritage are inextricably linked to each other in De Groote Peel National Park.
De Groote Peel National Park consists largely of uninterrupted high-bog and that is quite rare in the Netherlands. This unique natural surrounding has a great variety of flora and fauna. Besides many common plants, specific bog plants such as various types of peat moss, sundews and bog-rosemary. Unique breeding birds are the black-necked grebe, nightjar and bittern. Rare butterflies and dragonflies like the large chequered skipper and white-faced darter live here as well.