Young people go into nature, Natuurmonumenten goes to the city

Young people go into nature, Natuurmonumenten goes to the city

Nuisance at Sint-Pietersberg


MAASTRICHT. The nuisance on the west slope of the Sint-Pietersberg continues. A fence must now ensure that it is quiet after sunset for both the residents and the animals on and around the mountain. Natuurmonumenten is going to the young people who cause nuisance – often students. For example during the INKOM.

It has been a known problem for years: young people who gather and have a drink on the mountain after sunset, especially on the western slope. Many times (loud) music is involved and the morning after there is often still waste in nature. During the corona time, this problem only got worse: the bars were closed or closed early and the young people in the City Park were sent away by boas or police. They moved to the outskirts of the city, including the Sint-Pietersberg.

Residents of the Mergelweg, at the foot of the mountain, do not sleep well because of the noise and a quiet night is also very important for the animals that live in and around the nature reserve. For the rare eagle owl, for example. The parents avoid crowds when they have little ones and so have to go further afield to hunt. This means that the young are alone longer and are therefore more vulnerable to, for example, a buzzard.

The Sint-Pietersberg belongs to Natuurmonumenten. They are responsible for enforcing the rules. These are clearly indicated on various signs: no access between sunset and sunrise, stay on the trails, and no music, fires or drinks (see photo). Enforcement is difficult, says forest ranger José Hermens. “We only have a limited number of FTEs.”

(The article continues underneath the photo)

A fence must now keep the young people away after sunset. It will be one meter high. Isn't that too low? You can easily step over. Hermens: “We don't want to put up a high fence in the middle of a nature reserve. A fence, also one of a meter, suggests something.” It will be placed at the end of the week.

According to forest ranger Hermens, informing is the real solution. Despite all the signs, many young people are not aware at all that they are doing something that is not allowed. Because a large part of these young people are students – the most common language on top of the mountain is usually English – Natuurmonumenten will be on the information market with a car during the upcoming INKOM. Students from the UM Green Office are going to help. The aim is not to call out students, emphasizes Hermens. “We want to invite them to come and have a look on Sint-Pieter. Show how beautiful it is, but make it clear that there are rules.”

Author: Yuri Meesen

Photos: Yuri Meesen

Tags: Nuisance,Sint-Pietersberg,Natuurmonuments

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