De Marne - a brief description
In the north-western part of the province of Groningen, adjoining World Heritage Wadden Sea, lies the municipality of De Marne. It has about 11,000 inhabitants, covers an area of 24,000 hectare and encompasses 21 villages. De Marne has plenty of rest, spaciousness, clean air and nature on offer. One can literally hear the silence and see the darkness of the night sky. De Marne is mainly an agricultural area, focussing on crop growing and cattle farming. The fishing industry also plays an important role. Bulb cultivation is also an up-and-coming commercial endeavour.
We speak English
So language need never be a barrier. Many of the inhabitants and businesses within the De Marne municipality can be addressed in English.
The municipality offers a good number of amenities that include education, shopping, horeca, care, welfare, sports and recreation facilities. And for the more extensive amenities offered in the big cities, Groningen is a mere half-an-hour's drive away.
In De Marne there is a vast network of footpaths, cycle-paths as well as sailing a canoeing routes. Of particular interest are the so-called 'maren': the narrow waterways twisting and turning their way throughout the countryside. They are particulary suitable for recreational sailing and canoeing. The many marked walks, cycle routes and sail and drive routes connect all of the various villages.
De Marne offers a wide selection of camp sites, hotels, lodging houses, group accommodation facilities, holiday homes and hiker's cabins. From the fairly simple and cheap to the large and luxurious. For more information contact the VVV tourist offices in Zoutkamp. Telephone number +31 (0) 595 401957 or visit the website.
Besides the well-known attractions such as the seal crèche in Pieterburen, the centre for mud flat walking and the Lauwer lake area (a National Park), there are also a number of unexpected attractions that are well worth a visit. For instance, there is the Borg Verhildersum in Leens, Abraham's Mustard Museum in Eenrum and the many churches, towers, listed heritage farms, terps and protected village settings. There are also famous church organs built by Arp Schnitger, Lohman en Hinsz.
The Lauwer Lake area
The Lauwer Lake area is a beautiful nature area suitable for fishing, bird watching, walking, cycling and waters ports. The area covers about 9,000 hectare. The Lauwer Lake area came into existence when the Lauwer Sea was closed off in 1969. Over the years the salt has slowly disappeared from the water and a beautiful countryside has emerged.
There are a number of typical products of the area. A fine example of this is the 'Spelt Project'. This project ensures the production of pure local products. Farmers, millers, bakers, upholsterers and distillers work together to produce old-fashioned spelt grain, flour, bread, gin and cushions filled with spelt husks.
The municipality came into being in 1990 when a number of smaller municipalities such as Eenrum, Kloosterburen, Leens and Ulrum were joined together. The municipality employs about 115 people.