Restoration ecology

Nitrogen deposition

Alongside habitat loss and climate change, nitrogen deposition is a major threat to biodiversity. Fossil fuels and modern agricultural practices are the main constributors to nitrogen in the environment. Reducing nitrogen in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is a key part of restoration ecology and habiat management. Waardenburg Ecology advises on opportunities for nitrogen reduction and the implementation of restoration measures.

Nitrogen deposition must be reduced as part of the legislation to protect species and habitats (under the EU birds and habitats directives). Meanwhile, restoration measures to make nitrogen-sensitive wildlife more resilient and to reduce the negative effects of years of nitrogen overload are being taken in and around many Natura 2000 areas.


Some recovery measures can be seen as a last resort, such as extreme mowing or grazing regimes, or the removal of sod and shrubbery. This removes nitrogen-rich material and prevents overgrowing. However, it is more important to focus on the restoration of the ecosystem, for example by restoring water quality or by creating buffers so that wildlife in has more resilience.

Programmes and opportunities

In the Netherlands, the national programme for nature and the national programme for national rural areas offer additional possibilities for the restoration of nitrogen-sensitive wildlife and habitats. We work with clients to identify opportunities for habitat restoration. We also develop restoration and recovery measures and create visualisations to help with communication.