Reflections on a changing landscape

European perspective in landscape research

[Translate to english:] Terschellinger duinlandschap. Foto: Jacob van der Vaart/Fryske Akademy

Johannes Kramer, member of the Provincial Executive, will open the European landscape conference ‘Reflection on Landscape Change: the European perspective’. It will be held in the province of Fryslân from Monday 20 to Friday 24 august. This conference is hosted by the WTC in Leeuwarden and the hotels Boschrijk and Schylge on the isle of Terschelling, where almost 150 scientists from 25 different countries will convene. The conference is organised by the Frisian Academy in close collaboration with the Wadden Academy.

Competition between forest and agriculture
The participants discuss the consequences of urbanisation, nature development, energy production and tourism for the landscape. In addition, there are various introductions to the landscapes of coastal areas, to the methods of landscape research and to the ways in which the local population can be involved in such research and in the making of development plans for the landscape. This is done from a European perspective. There are, for example, lectures by the Swedish professor Urban Emanuelsson about the continuous competition between forest and agriculture, and professor Gilles de Langen gives an introduction to the study and protection of landscapes in Fryslân by examining former mud-flats behind the dykes. All together, the participants provide 120 lectures about the conference themes. All talks are presented in English. 

The first half of the conference takes place in Leeuwarden, the second half on the isle of Terschelling. When the conference participants are transferred from Leeuwarden to Terschelling, there will be visits to four different cultural landscapes of the North of the Netherlands. 

‘Reflection on Landscape Change; the European perspective’ is the 25th conference of the PECSRL, de Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape, a network of European researchers who are professionally concerned with the history, the past and the present of the landscape in Europe. 

The conference is held every two years in a European country. The previous conference took place in Riga, Letland. The PECSRL has asked the Frisian Academy, in the person of dr. Jacob van der Vaart, to organise the conference in 2012 in the Netherlands. This was made possible by a generous financial contribution of the Province of Fryslân. 

The conference programme and the conference abstracts can be found at Those interested in attending the conference on Monday 20 or Tuesday 21 of august at the WTC Leeuwarden can contact the Congres Bureau Friesland: tel. (058) 234 71 11 or e-mail