In the coming years I want to weave more hedges

Ruth Bakkenes

Ruth Bakkenes, (67, Boxmeer)

"In the coming years, I want to weave more hedges."

A familiar face to many. Ruth Bakkenes (67, Boxmeer), has a big heart for nature and has played an important role in the management and development of the Maasheggengebied for years. Not for nothing, therefore, he received a Royal Decoration Member in the Order of Orange-Nassau in 2015.

What does the Maasheggen area mean to you?
"I have a background in agribusiness, but started doing more and more in the Maasheggen area with nature and education in the late 1990s," Ruth says. He has been active in the Maasheggen area since 1997. As president of IVN Maasvallei, he has guided many people through the area to let them experience nature and the Maas hedges, something he still enjoys doing, by the way. Together with the Foundation Heg-en-Landschap he set up the Dutch Championship Maasheggenvlechten in 2006, which still attracts many participants and visitors every year. The organization of this is now in the hands of Stichting Landschapsbeheer Boxmeer, also co-founded by Ruth.

He has also worked a lot with schools, introducing children in grades 5 and 6 to all the nature the area has to offer. "The dream is that every child who lives in or around this area will have a hedge planned in the area," he said.

What do you think is the most beautiful place in the Maasheggen?
"Still my own meadow with hedges," Ruth says. To also contribute to the restoration of the Maas hedges in the area, he bought some plots himself. Now that he is retired, he wants to free up more time to weave and restore hedges. "Although I have already braided quite a few hedges, I still have a lot to learn!", Ruth modestly admits.

What could be better in the Meuse Hedge Area?
"I think it is important, especially now with the advent of UNESCO biosphere status, that ecology and landscape are not threatened by inappropriate recreational pressures that may come to bear on the area. We must take care of this together and ensure that we can preserve the small-scale character of this area."

See also the episode with Ruth Bakkenes from the EO program "Faith and a Hope of Love"

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