For the period of six months I did an internship at “Staatsbosbeheer”, the State Forest Service. Staatsbosbeheer is one of the biggest organizations in the Netherlands managing nature reserves. The intention of my internship was to learn more about all aspects belonging to nature management, ranging from management tools used in the field to communication of management steps to the public.
Staatsbosbeheer formulated an internship-assignment that I had to work on during my internship. I had to make an inventory of the cultural heritage that can be found in the “Vijlenerbossen”, a relatively large forest area in the south of the Netherlands (in the province of Limburg). Next to this I had to describe the condition of these historical remains and to do suggestions for future management of these remains. I also looked at the possibilities to introduce the cultural heritage of the Vijlenerbossen to tourists and people living nearby. At first glance, it seems strange that I looked at cultural heritage while working for an organization managing nature reserves. The history of nature reserves and the remains we can see from this history today however, make all these nature reserves unique and often specific types of nature are attached to historical human use of the area (for example heath land). Therefore, Staatsbosbeheer wants to pay more attention to cultural heritage while managing its nature reserves.
The internship assignment was elaborated individually, but during my internship I also got the opportunity to join several field trips and meetings with other employees of Staatsbosbeheer. During these trips and meetings I learned more about the projects Staatsbosbeheer is working on, I saw different nature reserves managed by Staatsbosbeheer and I met a lot of people, who are experts in nature management. These were really nice experiences and very helpful to get an impression of working at a nature management organization.