Effects of recreational pressure

Primary challenge owner: Province of Drenthe

Secondary challenge owner(s): None



Nature conservation managers have noticed it for a while. Recreation in nature is on the rise. Enjoying nature is a great blessing, but increased recreational pressure can also lead to nuisance, increased maintenance costs and disturbance of nature. Under the Nature Protection Act, the Province of Drenthe is responsible for the conservation goals of protected species and to protect and, if necessary, expand the habitats in its Natura 2000 areas. 

Because of the effect of recreation on this protected natural environment, the Province of Drenthe wants to gain better insight into recreational pressure in our nature reserves. After all, this knowledge enables us to assess whether measures are necessary. A suitable quantitative method to measure province-wide recreational pressure in natural areas is not yet known to us or to other provinces. That is why we like to challenge startups to develop a method for us. We think there may be opportunities in the use of big/social data (data from Strava/telecom providers). 

Once recreational pressure is understood spatially and quantitatively, there are additional possible extensions for our challenge. For example, we are interested in how recreationists are spread out by type of activity and the extent to which recreationists use the trails intended for this purpose. 


The question/challenge for startups

Develop a tool/methodology to understand recreation pressure spatially, quantitatively and over time. Possible extension within the methodology: analysis of the type of activity/use of trails. 



  • The tool/method must be scalable 
  • The tool/methodology must be replicable 
  • The tool/methodology must be cost-effective
  • The tool/method must provide data that is actionable


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