New maps on the Atlas of Natural Capital

How green is your neighbourhood? Since this spring, all trees, bushes and low vegetation in the Netherlands have been displayed on the Dutch Atlas of Natural Capital. There are also three new maps on pollination and cooling in the cities. A further thirteen maps are available on the extraction of drinking water and groundwater protection.

How green is the Netherlands?
Three new maps can be admired on the Atlas of Natural Capital which show how green the Netherlands is. These are the maps: Trees in the Netherlands, Shrubs in the Netherlands and Low vegetation in the Netherlands excluding agricultural areas. The countrywide maps are extremely detailed and show the location and height of all trees and bushes in the Netherlands. These maps are based on, among other things, the Actual Height Model of the Netherlands (AHN2 and AHN3) and the infra-red aerial photo (CIR model) of the Netherlands.

There is even more to discover
A further three new maps on pollination were recently added. These provide an insight into suitable areas for pollinating insects and into the probability of these insects being present. This information is useful for fruit cultivators, for example. New maps can also be admired under the ecosystem services wood production and biomass for energy. These relate to plots of woodland where biomass is harvested. The new cooling in the city map is important for certain population groups (babies, children and the elderly) who are sensitive to heat stress. These maps show the positive influence of vegetation and water on the temperature in the city.

Drinking water extraction
The Atlas of Natural Capital now also contains thirteen new maps which provide an insight into the location and the quality of drinking water extraction sites (including groundwater protection areas and drilling-free zones). The Netherlands is known for its excellent drinking water quality. Nevertheless, (potential) problematic substances can be found at approximately half of the almost 200 extraction sites, which can cause health problems and which therefore have to be removed (data from 2014). Continuous attention must be paid to the drinking water quality. In order to protect drinking water quality, the use of space around drinking water extraction sites is subject to conditions. The same applies to underground activities such as cold and heat storage and geothermics. The new maps are useful for policymakers as well as, for example, project developers. They show everything relating to the sites and quality of drinking water extraction sites, from drilling-free zones and groundwater protection areas around drinking water sources, to the presence of (potential) problem substances such as chloride, nitrate and pesticides.

Coming soon…
Soon there will be new maps for the ecosystem services of food, wood production, coastal protection and soil erosion. Maps are being developed for the green theme on the effect of green on house prices and health. In the longer term maps will be developed on carbon sequestration, pest control and water infiltration. Technical documentation is available for all maps and underlying models. The Atlas of Natural Capital data is freely accessible and is being developed together with partner organisations. If you have any suggestions for improving the maps, or if you would like to explain how you use our data, please let us know using the contact form.