Just up the road from where I took photos of the trams and herons in yesterdays post, there is a kinderboerderij.
“Kinderboerderij” rather literally means ” childrens farm” and it’s where children from cities and villages around the Netherlands go if they want to see and learn about farm animals.
Modern agricultural regulations for farm hygiene and safely of children (and animals) make it difficult for kids to see sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens etc on a real farm, so mini versions are dotted all around the country with a selection of animals and birds for young children to see, pet, and learn how they are raised and cared for.
Indeed, without the kinderboerderij, many kids who live without gardens in city environs may never otherwise see animals up close.
The Stichting KinderBoerderijen Nederland (Dutch Foundation for Children’s Farms) http://www.skbn.net/de-kinderboerderij/maatschappelijk-belang-van-kinderboerderijen (website in Dutch language only) tells us that some 400.000 children of primary school age visit kinderboerderijs annually where they learn about how the animals are cared for, what they eat, how food for is produced, the environment the animals need to live, professions associated with livestock and agriculture, the effects on the environment and sustainability.
It’s also a favourite place for young children to go for play, in fact it’s so popular that there are around 500 kinderboerderijen in The Netherlands and between them they achieve some 30 million visitors per year!
The trees in the grounds of this kinderboerderij have strong stakes in a circle protecting the tree trunks to protect them from the deer that are also in the grounds.
Canals within cities in the Netherlands (we have quite a few of them in case you haven’t heard LOL) vary massively in construction, so often they are the storm water conduits as well.
Many have high sides made of bricks and so the city council places small ladders in the water that slope up to the banks…these are basic planks with little cross-ways treads on them and they help parent water birds and their little families get out of the water.
I’m pleased to see that on a low sided canal by the kinderboerderij, the duck ladders lead to man-made bird house in the middle of the canal, so that water birds can nest somewhat protected. It’s quite a beautiful little apartment don’t you think?