Ramble around the 'seaside village' landscape of the Coepelduynen

The ancient and damp ground in Coepelduynen, an area between Noordwijk and Katwijk, provides the ideal environment for Hygrocybe conica, a colourful mushroom with a shiny cap commonly known as 'the witch's hat'. This area is perfect for enjoying a ramble. There are two dune valleys and the alternating dune grasslands, thickets and woods with unique flora and fauna make this a diverse area to roam around.

Outside of the nesting season. During the nesting season from 15 March until 15 August, part of this area is closed.

Potato farming on the coast

The Coepelduynen is a small but remarkable area. It is a characteristic alternating dune landscape that is also known as a 'seaside village landscape'. In the past, the nets were dried here and the inhabitants of the seaside villages in the hollows of the dunes created fields for potatoes and pastures for cattle. Today, Coepelduynen forms a diverse nature reserve. It is home to numerous rare plant species, including seldom found mosses and mushrooms.

To me, the most beautiful area is Coepelduynen with its drifting sand. You can still see how the dunes were created through the combination of sand and wind. Broomrape, pyramidal orchid, Nottingham catchfly and eyebright grow here. I often encounter a roe deer or a fox.

Tim Fransen forest ranger Hollands Duin

Nesting season takes priority

The open dunes without scrub (a collective term for short trees and bushes) attract noteworthy species of nesting birds such as nightingale and common whitethroat. Access to the area is therefore limited during the nesting season between 15 March and 15 August. The bike path on the sea side and the hiking trail along the perimeter remain open to the public during this period. Outside the nesting season you are allowed to go off the trails, too. Consequently, there is something to see or do at every moment throughout the year.