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Nature development in the Natura2000 upper floodplains of the river IJssel

Reference: LIFE11 NAT/NL/000771 | Acronym: Floodplain development



The project is located in an area known as IJsselpoort and consists of the two sub-areas of Koppenwaard and Velperwaarden. The area is formed by the upper floodplains of the river IJssel, which is included in the Natura 2000 network of protected sites because of the presence of large areas of several threatened habitats and species. The area is threatened by intensification and over-fertilisation leading towards a monotonous landscape with low nature values and high euthrophication. Furthermore populations of many plant and animal species are highly fragmented, as a result of the loss of their favoured habitats


The main objectives of the 'Floodplain development' project are:

  • To enlarge the area of characteristic riverine Natura 2000-habitats along the river IJssel and to create biotopes for species associated with these habitats; and
  • To improve water safety by buffering and preventing the effects of climate change (e.g. high flood risks, but also drying out).
  • In order to restore these habitats and create a more robust ecosystem, land purchase is crucial. Therefore, a total of 83 ha will be purchased (61 ha at Velperwaarden and 22 ha at Koppenwaard). The project also has a number of secondary onbjectives, which include:
  • Improving public accessibility and recreational zoning and extending recreational facilities in the project areas; and
  • Involving local farmers in the (future) habitat-oriented management.
  • The project is part of a more extensive project, “Rivierklimaatpark IJsselpoort”, which is developing a spatial development programme for the upper floodplains of the river IJssel, in order to help mitigate any future negative impacts from climate change.

    Expected results

    The project will result in:
  • An enlargement of the target habitats by a total of 118 ha (this includes 78 ha of habitat 6510; 19 ha of habitat 3150; 11 ha of habitat 6120; 4 ha of habitat 3270; 4 ha of habitat 91E0; and 2 ha of habitat 91F0;
  • Water safety improvement measures will increase the water storage capacity in the floodplains and thus reduce the risk of flooding elsewhere. Furthermore, the measures will prevent habitats from drying out during summer and improve spatial connection of habitats and populations of species that are susceptible to climate change; and Recreational measures will result in a bird observatory, a partly restored and extended footpath (Koppenwaard), shortcuts to the river IJssel and other improved facilities for visitors (e.g. wooden benches at viewpoints).


    Reference: LIFE11 NAT/NL/000771
    Acronym: Floodplain development
    Start Date: 01/06/2012
    End Date: 30/06/2019
    Total Eligible Budget: 3,268,719 €
    EU Contribution: 1,634,355 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Vereniging Natuurmonumenten
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Noordereinde 60, 1243ZS, 's-Graveland,

    LIFE Project Map



    • Freshwater


    • environmental impact of agriculture
    • eutrophication
    • protected area
    • river


    • 3150 - Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition - type vegetation
    • 3270 - Rivers with muddy banks with Chenopodion rubri p.p. and Bidention p.p. vegetation
    • 6120 - Xeric sand calcareous grasslands
    • 6510 - "Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis)"
    • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"
    • 91F0 - "Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior or Fraxinus angustifolia, along the great rivers (Ulmenion minoris)"


    • None or non applicable


    Code Name Type Version
    IJsseluiterwaarden NL2003022 SCI/SAC v.2013


    Name Type
    Vereniging Natuurmonumenten Coordinator