Member of the Dutch National Network
The municipality of Heerde is the fifth member of Cittaslow in The Netherlands. With this certificate Heerde really stands out in the beautiful province of Gelderland.
Heerde offers a unique combination of landscapes very close to each other: the forests of the Veluwe (a National Reserve) in the West, the river IJssel in the east and in between a landscape that was awarded the third most-beautiful of the Netherlands some years ago.
Heerde has over 18,000 residents and counts 4 villages: Heerde, Wapenveld, Veessen and Vorchten. Because of its natural beauty and the character of its population, the municipality is very popular for living and working.
The history of Heerde starts in the Iceage. When the ice melted 75,000 years ago, the moraines that now form the Dellen and the Renderklippen, stayed behind. For thousands of years the area was inhabited by nomadic mammoth and reindeer hunters.
About 4,500 years ago the first agriculturers settled in this area. Settlements concentrated along the higher zone at the foot of the Veluwe and alongside the river IJssel.
In the 14th century dikes were constructed alongside the IJssel and the first windmills were built. These mills were the start of the paper-industry, which came to flourish in the 17th century. The last paperfactory closed in 2007.
Heerde still has a strong agricultural character. However, most of the residents work in industry, construction and commercial services. Heerde counts several bigger industries. Among others soap factory De Klok, Bolletje Bakeries, Akzo Nobel coatings and Royal Euroma (spices). Tourism is also important for the local economy. This is reflected in the size of the commercial services.
Windmill De Vlijt grinds home-made flour and sells all kinds of local products. It also regularly organises tastings of local products. Another important Cittaslow-feature of Heerde is the heath where you can find a flock of 'Veluws heideschaap', a rare breed of sheep. Several growers sell their own products at home, and cow-farmer Doppenberg sells his milk to the fair-trade brand 'de faire melk'.
Heerde has a rich cultural history. This is evident from the many traditional farmhouses and mansions. Characteristic also is castle Vosbergen.
Slow Food presidia
Slow-food convivium, region Zwolle:
Mr. Rudi Eding, Kruizemuntweg 28, 8042 JD Zwolle
Tel: +31 06 10664091
An important project is the area development between Veessen and Wapenveld. There is a lot of attention for the natural values of this area, for example by restoring the original vegetation. Area development also takes place on the Apeldoorn Channel. This channel is made navigable again and a place is created where animals like deer can cross. Important projects for the cultural history are the development of windwill De Vlijt and historic farm Erven IJzerman. Wapenveld center is being renovated after the inhabitants drew up a village plan. Heerde also is constructing some new schoolbuildings, in which the highest sustainability requirements are kept with regard to the use of energy etc.