From its origin Limburg (which belongs partial to Germany, Netherlands and Belgium today) is farmland. Later heavy industry was add, because of the coal mines which in the mean time are long gone. Heavy industry therefore is disappearing; farmland, however smaller and smaller, is still here...
That is mainly because of a very fertile top layer at the Limburgian soil: loess, a leftover of the last ice-age. But the agrarian culture is not that intensive anymore; like everywhere in western Europe most soil is picked by concrete, asphalt and housing, in spite of the natural commodity given by nature. Mankind always knows better?
And what is left is not always used for food-production. Modern man has become an amateur, and uses acres of former farmland for his hobby; mainly keeping animals in a meadow, not for use or food, but just to keep.
This however brings life to the natural area of hills and left bushes of the Limburgian landscape, because the rich game of the past is not that rich anymore. Therefore the natural area’s are too small at present. Wild hogs, deer, which were quite common when I was a child, have mainly disappeared to the more southern Ardens and vast German woods, and I can’t blame them. The same concrete, asphalt and housing made life simply too hard for them to stay.
It is funny anyhow, that the traditional Marl-land-sheep are still kept, just to graze the meadows. They shave them still for wool, but their core-business today is grazing to preserve the flora that was here by itself for ages. It’s funny though what men made of the land that was once for all: flora and fauna, before we decided to invent god as an excuse to be able to say: “This is ours. We can do with it what we want.”
In stead of learning and looking at these tiny natural leftovers, we still build and pave, and even those amateur meadows and grassland become smaller. Knowing that domestic animals are almost the last ones in not only the area where I live, one has to ask the question: is it really our purpose to preserve wildlife (flora and fauna) in restricted areas? Do we really want to become a species of zoo-keepers?