In the national park, an attempt is made to let nature take its course as much as possible. However, since we also want to preserve the rare plants and animals, the park administrator is occasionally faced with difficult choices.

  • Forest management:  The objective is to eventually convert the coniferous forest of Schiermonnikoog into a mixed deciduous and coniferous forest. There are several reasons for this:
    • the coniferous trees are old, and they threaten to die soon
    • there is less undergrowth beneath coniferous trees than beneath deciduous trees
    • coniferous trees evaporate more water than deciduous trees, which encourages dehydration of the island
        A large portion of the coniferous trees will die of their own accord, but the Nature Conservation Society cuts trees on a limited scale in addition to trees that die naturally. 
  • Dunes management:  The dunes threaten to become overgrown with birch and creeping willow. This causes rare and vulnerable plants to disappear. To counter this, the Nature Conservation Society takes a variety of active measures:
    • mowing
    • sod cutting (cutting off the entire top layer of the soil)
    • grazing by sheep and horses, and by cows on the salt marsh