Throughout the Second World War, more than 250 Dutch resistance fighters were eliminated on the Waalsdorpervlakte between Wassenaar and The Hague. Not all bodies might have been recuperated after completion of the war. New research, which also uses a drone, must make sure clarity about the remaining victims once and for all. Problem alone is that the plain is categorized as Natura 2000 area.

Personal search

The look for the unfound resistance fighters is fueled by Hagenaar and army officer Jurriaan Wouters. Supported by relatives and personal individuals, he is committed to recovering victims who have actually been missing out on given that the war. It is approximated that there are still stays of at least three bodies in the dune area, however there can also be lots of them.

The plan was to map the area again thoroughly, by methods of a drone and a ground radar. The problem is that it concerns the Natura 2000 area Meijendel & Berkheide. For that reason, area supervisor Dunea and the Haaglanden Environment Service did not wish to permit for the search for a long time, since of the possibly disruptive results on plants and animals. This to the excellent anger of Wouters, who mentioned ‘a disgrace’ to Omroep West.

Exploratory investigation

Recently there seems to be movement in the case. The Environmental Service has actually shown that it is in principle possible to map the area by means of a drone. It needs to take off and land at a large range from existing groups of birds and also the drone is not allowed to fly above lived in nests. The requirement is that an ecologist supervises the drone flights.

The idea is to utilize the drone to create a 3D design of the location make, for the function of the exploratory investigation. Any problems may indicate the presence of human remains. In order to have the ability to provide a definitive conclusion about this, a mobile ground radar should be used in a subsequent stage. However for that, the Environment Service has actually not

permitted. Incidentally, there is little enthusiasm for the city board of The Hague to support the private search. According to the College of B and W, the authority to search for resistance fighters lies in the Salvage and Identification Service of the Royal Army (BIDKL), and there are no reasons to believe that post-war excavations were thoughtlessly performed at the time, triggering tombs over the head would have been seen.

Natura 2000

In the Netherlands, flying drones above Natura 2000 locations has been delicate for a very long time. The problem is that management is decentralized which far from all management plans contain passages relating to drone operations. For that reason, at the end of 2020, Rijkswaterstaat released a document with guidelines for drone flights over Natura 2000 sites. It can be deduced from this that drone flights do not necessarily need to be disruptive, partially depending upon place and season.

Furthermore, in a declaration, supervisor Dunea specifies that while using drones over the Natura 2000 area has actually not proved to be subject to authorisation, this does not mean that the examination may therefore be performed. Dunea describes the Ministry of Defence as the qualified authority in this case.