Balloërveld | Sheepfold
670

Balloërveld | Sheepfold - Balloo

N 53.0178078919995 / E 6.647039617

Between the villages of Gasteren, Rolde and Loon in Drenthe, you will find the heathland of Balloërveld. This nature reserve has been declared a hotspot in the Hondsrug Unesco Geopark, and with good reason!

The heathland is interspersed with peat moors, pine woods and some small sand drifts. You will find numerous rare plant species here, such as the bell gentian, spotted orchid and the winged flower. Butterflies also find the area very attractive; in a study by Wageningen Agricultural University, no less than 25 different species were counted! With a bit of luck you will also come across the Balloërveld sheep herd. The flock consists of no less than 400 sheep and is therefore the largest in Drenthe. Such a large herd, quietly grazing in such a beautiful nature reserve, is guaranteed to be a great sight! In the direction of junction 68 you will find the sheepfold, here you will find the location where you can find the sheep that day on an information board.

The Balloërveld, now managed by the Dutch Forestry Commission, has an eventful history that even goes back to prehistoric times. The area originated in the Elster Ice Age. The oldest traces found here are flints from the Stone Age of around 10,500 BC. This proves that people already lived on the Balloërveld back then, but there are more traces of earlier life here. When the grass and heather are not too high, you can see the so-called 'Celtic fields' - rectangular, stone-walled agricultural plots from the Iron Age - in the landscape. Medieval cart tracks can also be seen. From all the different time periods, more traces have been left behind, for example, the forty burial mounds scattered around the area. There are the Mandeberg and the Stakenberg, but the Galgenberg is the hill with the most extraordinary history.

The Balloërveld also housed an important line of defence for the German occupiers in the Second World War. This line is still clearly recognisable here in the heathland by the trenches and tank ditches that you are sure to encounter.

Balloërveld | Sheepfold

Balloërveld | Sheepfold
Schaapskooi Balloërveld, Crabbeweg 2
9458 TE Balloo

Contact details
T: +31521748970
E: info@schaapskuddeballoerveld.nl

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