De Hoge Veluwe National Park - Guelders - the Netherlands
De Hoge Veluwe National Park Estate
De Hoge Veluwe National Park is located on land owned privately by an independent Foundation. The Foundation is only entitled to a limited amount of Government funding and is therefore almost entirely self-sufficient. In order to survive, The Park depends on paying visitors. The Park comprises 5,400 hectares of woodland, heathland, drift sands and peat bogs and is entirely fenced off.
Museum of cultural landscapes
The Park can justifiably be described as a ‘museum of cultural landscapes’. These landscapes are renowned for their diversity of flora and fauna, and thanks to its central location in the Netherlands, De Hoge Veluwe National Park plays a crucial role in the European Natura 2000 network. The Park has a wide variety of biotopes providing habitats for protected and rare plant and animal species, a number of which no longer occur anywhere else in the Netherlands. Each year, the Park receives around 600,000 paying visitors, with no detriment to its biodiversity.
History of De Hoge Veluwe National Park
The history of De Hoge Veluwe National Park is full of idealism and vision. Its cultural heritage was formed early in the twentieth century by Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller, a married couple. Anton was a successful businessman. He was passionate about hunting and, in 1909, started purchasing De Hoge Veluwe hunting grounds, in phases. Helene was an enthusiastic art collector. Together Anton and Helene pursued an ideal: uniting nature and art in the interests of the common good.
In the period 1909-1923, the foundations for the current Park were laid. The Park was fenced off and animals were brought in (mouflons, red deer and wild boar). The family's country residence, Jachthuis Sint Hubertus was built and works of art were purchased. This period also saw the start of the construction of a museum for the art collection.
However, around 1923, a serious economic crisis hit. The couple had to discontinue the construction of the museum. The situation deteriorated and the family was no longer able to sustain the property. In 1935, a solution to the problems was found. The Park was to be transferred to form part of a Foundation: De Hoge Veluwe National Park. The national government granted the Foundation an interest-bearing mortgage loan. The art collection was donated to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the government built the museum. This now forms the oldest part of the current Kröller-Müller Museum.
We are proud to say that the Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest contiguous and independently managed nature reserve in the Netherlands. The Park is largely operated without government subsidies. And yet it remains 'for the benefit and enjoyment of the community', as Helene Kröller-Müller originally intended. The money generated from ticket sales is used to maintain the Park for future generations. The same is true of your indispensable donations and sponsorships.
A new heart of the park
Your financial support is essential to helping us attract visitors to the Park in the years to come. This year, 99 years after Jachthuis Sint Hubertus was built, De Hoge Veluwe National Park will complete work on the Park Pavilioen, a magnificent new building to welcome visitors to the Park.
The Park Paviljoen is a state-of-the-art information centre with spaces for receptions and educational activities, plus various meeting rooms. It also houses a contemporary Park Restaurant, with large windows offering views of the surrounding nature. The Park Shop, which is currently in the Visitors’ Centre, will also be moving to the new building.
The Park Paviljoen is designed by the Netherlands’ finest architects, thus following in the footsteps of Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller, who commissioned numerous buildings in Western Europe from the best architects of the Low Countries, including the world-famous Henri Van de Velde and Hendrik Petrus Berlage.
You too can contribute to the future of the Park. A future with new facilities that generate extra revenue. This will help us maintain and improve the unique natural landscape and exceptional buildings housed within the Park for decades to come. Click here to read the annual report 2016 (English) or here to read the annual report 2017 (Dutch) of De Hoge Veluwe National Park.
Baron Seger van Voorst tot Voorst, director/manager, has been in charge at De Hoge Veluwe Nationale Park since 2003. Since 2012, he has also been Vice President of the Friends of the Countryside.