The W.H. Vliegenbos (W.H. Vliegenforest) in Amsterdam North is the oldest city forest of the city council of Amsterdam. It was created between 1910 and 1918 on the initiative of the socialist councillor W.H.Vliegen, who wanted a forest close to Amsterdam for the workers to be able to go for a walk and enjoy nature.
While the forest has some park-like elements, with an asphalted path and some benches and nice water features, for the largest part (about 15 ha) it is forest, existing of dry and wet Ash-Elms woods. Next to ash trees and elms it also has many poplars and maples, a great variation in structure, and a large diversity of trees, bushes and undergrowth . The remarkable high number of Elms in this forest is due to the very strict policies the city of Amsterdam observes with regard to the Elms disease. Because of this, the W.H. Vliegenbos is the largest still existing Elms-rich forest of the Netherlands, and maybe even of Western Europe.
At the entrance of the Vliegenforest, some large cast-iron arches draw the attention. These arches originate from the old Parisian Market halls, that were demolished in 1971. The Amsterdam artist Peter Diem purchased some of those arches, and donated them to the city council. They were restored and now serve as a remarkable entrance to this city forest.
– All these photo’s were made during the first test-photoshoot with the rented Canon EOS 7D camera (see my previous blog post) –