The first view of Oostvaardersplassen, a controversial rewilding project in the Netherlands, is jaw-dropping. Ahead of you, across open water, is grassland stretching into the distance. Dark clouds occasionally drift up from the land and then sink down. Only when one or two birds break away from the main group do you realise that these clouds are huge flocks of geese.

Beyond the geese are animal herds. Nearest are several groups of stocky Konik ponies. Occasionally a stallion charges into a group and is met with another rearing up in defence. New-born foals race about on spindly legs. Beyond ...


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