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Smals on holiday: sand extraction at Center Parcs Huttenheugte

  • Health and safety
  • Land-use planning
  • Permitting processes / policy integration
  • Reporting official statistics
  • Socio-economic and environmental impact assessments

Challenge the practice is addressing: This practice addresses the temporary sand extraction at Center Parcs Huttenheute while the park is open to the public for visits.

Concrete practice to achieve the expected goal: Huttenheugte was involved with sand extraction from September 2021 until April 2022. All efforts are intended to reinforce the fish lake's natural system and improve the water quality. To a maximum depth of 7 meters, the lakebed will be lowered by 4 meters. This ensures that the water will warm up less when it's hot, which will stop algae and weeds from growing too much. Additionally, particular steps were taken to make life easier for fishers. These precautions include underwater slopes that are favorable to fish and stair-like slopes close to designated fishing locations. By deepening the lake by 4 meters, approximately 400.000 cubic meters of sand comes available. The sand was dug up using Smals's brand-new, 650 m3/hr maximum capacity, road transportable electric sand dredger. Pumps were used to transport the dredged sand to a nearby sand depot. The province of Drenthe is the main user of sand from Huttenheugte, using it in a number of infrastructure projects.

Expected impact/goal of the practice: The goal of this practice was to reinforce the fish lake's natural system and improve the water quality

Who is the target user group of the practice/intervention or implementing the practice/intervention? This practice is for companies in the extractive industries.

UEPG Sustainable Development Award Nominee
Data item type
Practice base
Practice type
Report / document
Learning relevance
Case study
Unspecified (universally applicable)
Extractive life-cycle
Post-exploitation phase (i.e. rehabilitation)
Exploitation phase
Sustainability scope
Planning beyond the mine life
Shared vision partnerships
Water stewardship
Land-use and biodiversity
System change potential
reinforce the fish lake's natural system and improve the water quality
sand extraction supports eco-system