Raising awareness of the unique natural values of the Razende Bol island
De Razende Bol is a small uninhabited island in between the mainland coast of Den Helder and the island of Texel. The island has a desert-like look and is situated in the Marsdiep estuary. Each year, the Razende Bol shifts about 100 meters towards the island of Texel. The island is part of the Natura 2000 area and the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea, is of great ecological value for a variety of sea- and migratory birds as a stopover during the yearly bird migration, a breeding place and a shelter place during high tides. Therefore, a variety of birds are regularly being observed in the area. Furthermore, seals are other inhabitants of the island.
Visitor impacts on natural areas
Although human disturbance is a small factor, human activities are now and then taking place on the island such as, military exercises and visitation of the island by mainland citizens. Especially the latter group of people is enjoying their leisure time in summer on the Razende Bol, when the area becomes an important base for groups of day recreationists. This leads quite regularly to disturbances for the animals that are present on the Razende Bol island.
In order to prevent or minimise human disturbance in the future, the landscape and nature education organisations of Landschap Noord-Holland and the Helderse Vallei developed an educational kit. By means of this kit, younger generations could become more aware of the unique and vulnerable character of the Razende Bol. This educational kit was made possible as a result of subsidies of grand providers De Versterking, Ars Donandi en Russell-ter Brugge fund as well as the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund.
Introducing the educational kit to primary schools
The educational kit was introduced last year to primary schools in and around Den Helder. In the second half of 2018, another five primary schools were willing to introduce the educational kit to their pupils. The informative and interactive educational kit entails a variety of funny exercises, a dancing lesson and an introduction to a diversity of interesting aspects the Razende Bol possesses, among other things.
Baseline assessment to measure knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour
Before the educational kit was introduced, the European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) in cooperation with the above-mentioned organisations performed a baseline assessment in order to measure the knowledge, attitude and behaviour that pupils already possessed in respect of the Razende Bol. In order to accomplish this, 118 pupils filled in a questionnaire. The analysis brought a range of interesting results to the surface. At the moment, ETFI performs an impact assessment in order to see in what way the educational kit contributed to pupils’ knowledge of- and attitude and behaviour towards the island. Moreover, there will be looked at in what way pupils think of the educational kit.