In September 2019, TAQA (together with state energy company EBN) bought 24 hectares of grassland at the Kolonel Sneepweg in Bergen. This purchase was the last of several nature compensation agreements made in 2011 between TAQA and the Province of North-Holland for the construction of Gas Storage Bergermeer.
The plot at Kolonel Sneepweg (immediately south adjacent to the Bergen eco-village and the Ministry of Defence’s mobilisation complex) had already been designated to become nature within the Dutch network of existing and newly to be created nature areas (the so-called Natuur Netwerk Nederland), but there was no actual management regime in place to develop nature on this site at that time. TAQA made agreements with three local farmers to manage that area according to nature type N12.02 ‘herb- and fauna-rich grassland.
To achieve the nature objective, the land is fertilised with a limited amount of rough stable manure and no mowing is allowed during the breeding season. Farmers may graze a pre-agreed number of cattle outside the breeding season. Activities that result in heavy traffic on or around the plot are not allowed.
In the search for a suitable site, TAQA felt that this area should be in the community of Bergen because the construction work took place here at the time.
After buying the site, TAQA submitted its plans to the Groen Platform Bergen, the partnership of several environmental organisations, and Natuurmonumenten. Representatives of these organisations had regular discussions with TAQA during and after the construction of the gas storage facility about nature measures in the Loterijlanden nature reserve in Bergen.
To measure the results of nature management, bird inventories took place in 2021 and 2023. The results of these can be found at the bottom of this page.
TAQA owns the area for at least 12 years. Thereafter, the area will permanently retain its purpose as
a nature reserve.