In a press interview at the end of the state visit to Norway, King Willem-Alexander said on Thursday that he will again apply for a subsidy for the management of Kroondomein Het Loo, which includes the nature reserve around the palace of the same name on the Veluwe. This is reported by various media. He did not make any statements about whether or not the area would be fully opened, NOS writes. However, the king emphasized that there are other types of subsidy that are not awarded on condition of opening.
In the past five years, the king received 4.7 million euros in subsidy for nature management from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. In September, outgoing minister Carola Schouten (ChristenUnie) wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives that the Crown Estate could only continue to receive a subsidy for nature management if the estate was open to the public all year round. The nature reserve is now closed for three months of the year, from mid-September to Boxing Day. In addition, no more than one hectare of a subsidized nature reserve may be closed off for privacy reasons – 4,900 hectares of the Kroondomein are closed for part of the year.
Nature organizations have been criticizing the subsidy and the annual closure of the Crown Estate for years, which they believe has to do with the fact that the royal family hunts for game during those three months. The king said this summer that “fauna management, hunting” is indeed part of the management of Het Loo. “If you don’t control it, it gets out of hand.” Hunting parties would no longer take place. “One man or woman will go hunting under supervision,” the king said, according to ANP news agency.
Also read: King only receives subsidy if Kroondomein is open all year round