De Kampina
in beautiful Oisterwijk

Fens, forests, recreation and more

Get surprised by the varied landscape in Nature Reserve De Kampina. Enjoy the view of the many fens and walk over the purple moors in late summer. Wander along meandering streams and walk through colourful grasslands.

Walking and cycling over the Kampina

Get to know the typical Kampina with its alternating wet and dry heath, forests, streams and fens. You can enjoy this special landscape in many different ways. Do you want to see the highlights? Then, go walking, cycling or riding in this beautiful landscape. There is also a route that is very suitable for wheelchairs and buggy’s.

From deer to blueberry

Its rich flora and fauna make it, without a doubt, one of the most valuable heath areas in our country. Thanks to the varied landscapes you will find and observe many animals and plants. You can for example suddenly face a beautiful deer. Join the forester and look for deers during the deer tour. Don’t forget your camera.

Wander and
search through enchanted
Wander and
search through enchanted

Beautiful fens, forests, recreation, wild animals in our backyard. Get surprised by the varied landscape in Nature Reserve De Kampina. Enjoy the view of the many fens and walk over the purple heathland in late summer.

The origin of the Kampina

The Kampina has dozens of fens, just like the nearby Oisterwijk’s forests and fens. Most fens arose during the last ice age. The polar wind blew the sand into hills and the rainwater remained in the extinct depressions that were created. The water didn’t drain due to the underlying loam layer. Het Belversven and het Winkelsven arose in a different way. These are remnants of the meltwater valley of the Beerze, a stream that now runs much more to the east.

From sand drift to heath

Around 1400, the Kampina was a large sand drift comparable to the Loonse and Drunense Duinen. The people hat cut down all trees, causing the underlying sand layer to dust. In the course of time it grew over again with heath, on which the farmers in the area let their sheep and other livestock graze for centuries. To preserve that heat, we now let cattle and horses graze there. They ensure that young trees and grasses do not have a chance to crowd the heath. 

‘Home Fens’

There is also a third type of fen: the ‘Home Fens’. These fens arose in places where peat was being dug in the past. That was the fuel to heat the houses. From 1379 peat was already being dug and brought to Boxtel and Den Bosch by boats over the Kleine Aa. In the beginning of the 20st century they still burned peat from the ‘Home Fens’ in the power station of Boxtel.


Surrounded by wild heathland, farming families soiled their fields for centuries. Until 2015 little was left of this medieval peasant enclave. The Natuurmonumenten Foundation has breathed new life into the old landscape by restoring fields, pools, meadows and wooded banks. The contours of the farms are visible again and in late summer you can pick an apple or plum in the orchard during your walk.


Valley of Beerze

De Kampina offers several beautiful walking routes. The green route takes you through the Valley of Beerze. You can spot many birds on the flood plain, such as the great white egret, the widgeon, the reed warbler and sometimes even the black stork. Via the winding course of the Beerze, you will reach the Spoordonkse water mill, which dates from 1453. In front of the mill you will find a fishing stairs with 14 steps. It ensures that fish such as the chub and the stickleback can swim against the current back to their spawning grounds.

The Valley of Beerze will become even more beautiful. In the next few years the Natuurmonumenten Foundation, together with water board De Dommel, will continue to restore the stream valley. Nature will thrive in this natural stream system.

P.G. van Tienhoven

The first conservationist of the Kampina was Pieter Gerbrand van Tienhoven (1875-1953). He ensured that the area was transferred to the Natuurmonumenten Foundation in 1917.  This saved the heath, because the plan was to turn it into a  production forest. Later on, Van Tienhoven became chairman of the Foundation. On a hill near the Zandbergsevennen, you will find a funerary monument in memory of this conservationist. It offers a beautiful view of the heath, which is easily accessible via the Van Tienhovenroute from the parking place at the Roond. This route is also suitable for wheelchairs, prams and buggies.