August in April

Wolfheze heide

This weekend it has been the hottest Easter here in the Netherlands since records began. Last summer, a lot of sections of trails were closed because they were so dry that the surface was just crumbly sand and there has been nowhere near enough rain over the winter to make up the loss. On Saturday, the trails were like the hottest period of summer, with clouds of dust coming from our wheels in some places. I had to keep 10-20 meters behind the person in front of me some of the time. A lot of heather and bilberry plants died of drought last year. In some places I've seen them recovering nicely, but certainly not everywhere. If you look at the photo above, you will see that most of the vegetation is dead and grey, with just a few small patches of living green. There must be a good chance that this heath is never going to recover, which would be a big shame, but who knows maybe it will manage to regenerate from seed, with the right management. There is rain is forecast to come in the next few days, but it will take more than a couple of days of rain to get the water table back to normal, otherwise it is going to be even more closed trails this summer.Taraxacum