ACCESS TO HOFMANSPLAAT – DE BIESBOSCH
Working on connecting recreational use and nature on and leading up to Hofmansplaat (National Park De Biesbosch)
BLOC carried out a feasibility study on behalf of the municipality of Drimmelen in cooperation with Staatsbosbeheer (the State Forestry Service). It dealt with a potential ferry connection between the harbour of Drimmelen and the Hofmansplaat nature reserve, with the idea of promoting the recreational use of the island and making it accessible to more people. However, a permanent ferry connection turned out to be unprofitable and consequently impractical. That is why BLOC proposed two alternatives to be able to achieve the aspirations of the municipality of Drimmelen and Staatsbosbeheer. Both alternatives are promising and will be further explored in a subsequent phase.
The outcome of the study
A ferry connection between Hofmansplaat and the harbour of Drimmelen turned out not to be a feasible option. The earning capacity for the service provider would be insufficient, given that this is a so-called “final destination” and the conditions at Hofmansplaat are not (yet) conducive to a high frequency of visitors. For a healthy business case, the price tag would have been too high.
As alternatives to the unviable ferry connection, BLOC has proposed two concrete projects that promote both the recreational use of Hofmansplaat and the wider accessibility of the Biesbosch.
The underlying idea is to give recreational entrepreneurs on Hofmansplaat more room to offer recreational and educational excursions and deals. Uncontrolled growth is not desirable in view of the nature conservation role of the island. For this reason, the coming period will be used to establish a structured form of cooperation in which all parties stand to benefit: Staatsbosbeheer, the municipality of Drimmelen, entrepreneurs and the nature itself. A framework with clear agreements on the recreational use, level of intensity and the capacity and in line with the management and preservation of nature on Hofmansplaat.
Alternative 2 is to explore the possibility of a ‘Triangular Ferry’, where the connection between Drimmelen and Hofmansplaat is part of a wider ferry connection. A ferry that connects the municipalities Drimmelen, Altena and Geertruidenberg with the Biesbosch and connects to the existing walking and cycling paths. This will help to spread around the number of recreational visitors, counteract peak levels and provide access from the southern side of the Biesbosch to the north. This will create a finely-meshed network of sailing, cycling and walking routes.
BLOC is about to start work on accommodating the broader recreational range of activities on offer at Hofmansplaat and, together with the municipalities of Drimmelen, Altena and Geertruidenberg, to explore whether there is enough support for the provision of a more extensive ferry connection.
Joint efforts are being undertaken to connect and open up nature areas and the surrounding environment. By committing to sustainable and selective recreational-tourist usage, this special and unique environment will remain accessible to a broad target group.
Interested? Contact Fred!