Hunting free zone Deelerwoud – Veluwezoom

  • Country:
  • Start year:
    2014 (part of the area: 2002)
  • Location:
    Veluwe area; between Ede, Arnhem and Apeldoorn
  • Size (ha):
  • Area Type:
  • Type of protection:
    N2000, local and regional protection

In the Deelerwoud area and National Park Veluwezoom a hunting free zone of 2,500 hectares has been created. In this zone, no hunting on red deer and wild boar is allowed. The goal is to realise free populations of red deer and wild boar, and to increase the possibility for the public to see and enjoy these wildlife species.

Landscape of Veluwezoom


  • Habitat types: Forest areas contain Scots pine, Oak and Beech; heathland; former agricultural lands given back to nature.
  • Keystone species present: Red deer, wild boar
  • Fauna (mega) species present: Fallow deer, roe deer. Bird species: European nightjar, Sky Lark, Eurasian wryneck, European honey buzzard, Black woodpecker
  • Fauna species reintroduced: Highland cattle


  • Description: Under Dutch circumstances, where the management of wild animals such as deer and wild boar is strictly regulated for many years, Natuurmonumenten tries to modernise the principles of hunting in nature reserves. We try to do that in good relation with our neighbours and the regional government. In the surrounding buffer zone, hunting is practised to reduce damage on neighbouring activities like forestry, agriculture and traffic. Management is not just set on a number of animals every year.<br /> <br />
  • Aim: To modernize Dutch hunting principles, to reduce the number of animals being shot, to increase the visibility of wild animals and to stimulate natural processes.
  • Vision: Creating an unregulated population of deer species in which the animals can behave naturally, which will bring us new insights about the management of these species in the Netherlands.
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: An accepted way of wildlife management in particular by public and neighbours. <br /> A new wildlife hotspot on the Veluwe with a guarantee to see wild boar and deer species roaming around.
  • Uniqueness: So far, there are only two other hunting free zones in the Netherlands (Oostvaardersplassen and Midden-Veluwe). A wildlife crossing (ecoduct 'Terlet') connects the Deelerwoud area with N.P. Veluwezoom, enabling species such as Red deer and Fallow deer to cross the Highway in between safely.
  • Results so far: An evaluation of part of the area called Deelerwoud has been performed. This area is already a hunting free zone since 2001.<br />
  • Flagship species: Red deer
  • Other characteristics: Eco tourism, Research


  • Inspirational value: N.P. Veluwezoom (5,100 hectares) and Deelerwoud make up for a green oasis located in a relatively densely populated part of the Netherlands. The areas are connected via wildlife corridor Terlet which is used by species like Red deer and Fallow deer.
  • Experience you would like to share: Management of deer species and wild boar.
  • Experience you would like to gain: Working together with neighbours when your wildlife management is very different; how to deal with hunting in a surrounding where for many years a principle of hunting was established which we would like to discuss: ecological consequences, reaction of public. <br /> Seek inspiration to find new ways for public to experience wildlife.<br />
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