Frequently Asked Questions
What does the name of ARK mean?
Does ARK have any members or supporters?
How does ARK get its resources?
here is ARK's office located?
What can I do for ARK?
Does ARK publish any magazine or journal to which I can subscribe?
Does ARK own any land?
Will visitors disturb rare and vulnerable species when they do not keep to the path?
What does 'management' mean in your view. Does it cover the grazing of cattle and horses?
If you don't manage nature, wouldn't the area be gnat-infested, weed-choked, and littered all over?
What does ARK think of the historico-cultural importance of the landscape?
Is the Netherlands not too small for rambling in nature and wilderness?
Why does ARK want to reintroduce new species: can't they return under their own steam?
The Ark is a mythical ship that guides men, animals and plants into a new promising world. As our work concentrates on areas along brooks, rivers and coastlines where the fads and fancies of the water play an important role, we found this a suitable name.
No, they don't. You cannot become a member or a benefactor of ARK. It would take too much time to keep contacts with contributors, and keeping the membership records would cost us much time and resources; we think that we have better things to do with our time. However, if people are interested in us they can apply for receiving a digital newsletter.
We get about one-third from our commissioning authorities asking us to carry out certain projects. Another one-third comes from large organisations such as the National Postcode Lottery and the VSB Fund. The other income is received from herd management and wilderness cafés. Please read our annual report to find a detailed survey of our resources.
ARK does not have an office, but we do have working space at the Natuurplaze in Nijmegen. Most of our staff work at home since this is much more efficient and cheaper than running an office. This also means that more money can be spent on our objectives. We do have an own visitors' centre. These buildings also serve as our meeting location.
ARK does not have any members or contributors and it does generally not work with volunteers. You can support us mainly by buying our publications or by visiting one of our visitors' centres. You can also support us by buying our wilderness meat or tanned hides. Furthermore, there are sometimes projects for which we try to find sponsors. We will announce these projects separately.
We opted for announcing the results of our work or our findings on the terrain via existing magazines. We also issue a four-yearly newsletter via E-mail, in which we pay attention to the last developments and all kinds of details about our work. If you wish to receive this newsletter, please E-mail to ARK.
No, we don't, we only manage the land for others, and give information about it. Of course, with our management and our information we strive for sustainable development in the area, but in our view, ownership is not the most important condition for this purpose. It is more important that the present owners appreciate the importance of nature development, whether they are private owners, nature conservancies, water collection companies, mineral miners or others.
They sometimes will, and then certain parts of the area will be closed off. However, ARK often starts its work on former farmlands without many vulnerable species. These species will come later on and often at the same time as the free-roaming visitors. Without these visitors there may be more special species but with less social support for, and commitment to, these new nature areas.
ARK stands by nature areas where nature is not regulated by people but by natural processes, like river dynamics, groundwater flows and natural grazing. Management is mainly restricted to the regulation of the number of grazers in the absence of large predators. For us, horses and cattle are part and parcel of nature, and not a 'management regulation'.
Not only in the Netherlands but also abroad it is determined what species are or are not welcome. ARK tries to create 'oases' where not man but nature itself decides what is done. Practice teaches us that thousands and thousands of species profit from this approach. On our grounds, it does not matter, a rare plant or biodiversity for the one may be weed or litter to another.
Nature development also has a cultural context. It is a new phase in the development of a landscape. And like in a new book, a chapter is more readable when the former chapters are well understood. That's why ARK tries as much as possible to make the cultural history of an area manifest. Whenever possible, historic elements will have importance again in the present.
No, this is a common fallacy. Under the influence of natural processes, a varied wilderness can develop even in areas of some dozens of hectares where the visitor can ramble for hours (and children need even less space). If we make conscious choices, there is room for hundreds of thousands of hectares of this natural wilderness in the Dutch delta.
Not all species can return on their own. These species include those that are vital for the nature area and its development. Examples are large herbivores, like wild horse and bovine, red deer and beaver. Hundreds of other plants and animal species profit from their return. That is the reason why ARK reintroduced these large herbivores in dozens of areas, and with great success too!