Palynologendagen 2015

Palynologendagen
“Een historisch-ecologische benadering van het landschap in noord-oost Twente”
(“A historical-sociological approach to understanding landscapes in north-east Twente”)
8-9 October 2015
Organized by: Harm Smeenge, Bas van Geel & Stefan Engels
For the: Palynologische Kring

Last week I took part in my first “palynologendagen” (pollen days) with the Palynologische Kring (Dutch palynology society). Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment (Chairing a British Ecological Society careers webinar) I was only able to take part on the second day.

Day two of the pollen days was “op de fiets” (on bikes) in true Dutch style. We met at Twente Fiets to pick up 36 bicycles and one tandem and headed out into the countryside!

Figure 1: Route of the bicycle tour (max speed 21.8 kmph, distance 23.24 km)
Figure 1: Route of the bicycle tour (max speed 21.8 kmph, distance 23.24 km)

Our route (Fig. 1) took in around 14 point of interest. At each point Harm provided interesting insights into the landscape history and how humans had interacted and shaped it. The presentations were in Dutch so I had to concentrate hard to get 50% of the information.

Two particularly nice sites (which I think I understood) were:

  1. the site of an old toll house at the split in the old road to Germany (east) and Scandinavia (north), and
  2. a sedimentary cross section, revealed by river down cutting, which showed the impact of cart wheels on the sediment along the site of an old road.

In addition to the tour it was also fantastic to meet many other fellow palynologists based in the Netherlands. I looking forward to being able to participate in many future Palynologische Kring events, and I am also pleased to say attending this years event has inspired me again to try and push on with learning Dutch again!

 

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