Louis Dolmans

The farmer who loves birds

Louis Dolmans is the co-founder of our partner association Heg&Landschap, as well as a farmer and devoted tree planter who is working in his own way to reconcile agriculture, biodiversity and nature. In the Bemmel nature reserve in the center of the Netherlands, Louis grows wheat, plants trees and restores wild flowers and the natural habitats of insects, animals and birds.

Sporting a gentleman farmer look complete with cap, Louis Dolmans is in high spirits. He never tires of strolling around his 32 hectares. Every day, this nature lover takes the time to listen to the birds sing, watch nature thrive and observe the fields of wheat growing alongside wild poppies. This miracle was made possible by his passion for biodiversity, which gave him the drive he needed to enact change across his land. On his farm, he is living proof that it is still possible to restore the ecological equilibrium that has been compromised by intensive farming. “When I was a child,” explains the 69-year-old farmer, “I had a first-hand glimpse of the land redistribution process, and it cut right to the heart of me.”He became a farmer with the single goal of replanting everything that had been removed. And it’s working. Louis uses manure sourced from local breeders to nourish his soil naturally, grows a dozen different varieties of wheat as well as trees and hedges, and supplies local bakeries with premium ingredients. The fruits of his labour have been a complete success. Nature is springing back to life and reclaiming its rightful place, coexisting with farm land, wild flowers, animals and insects. And birds, in particular, are making an epic comeback (60 species, with 56 nesting on-site).

 I don’t interfere much with the land. I let nature do its thing, and that gives me more time to watch the birds.

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