Huis ter Heide

You may get depressed from all the news about the loss of our biodiversity in the Netherlands. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still beautiful places to be found. A few days back I happen to stumble upon one of these hidden gems, Huis ter Heide, an estate owned and managed by Natuurmonumenten (Dutch Society for Nature Conservation). Although basically bordering the city Tilburg, it is a quite area with woods, heaths and fens. And around this time of the year, singing Eurasian skylarks high above endless flowering fields. A sound that sadly has dissapeared in large parts of the country, so for me an highlight during my walk.

Technical notes about this page

For those interested in how to create a photo gallery and the map, here are some notes.

Notes about the photo galleries

The galleries (there are two, one above, and one below the map) were made using a very useful feature provided by Hugo, named shortcodes. They basically replace what would otherwise be a larger block of html code (hence the name ‘shortcode’). The shortcode for an image gallery and how you use it is explained here.

The shortcodes won’t work when writing your posts in Rmarkdown format. Luckily, the blogdown package provides a solution with the blogdown::shortcode() function. Read more about this function here or read the help file in R.

Below the code for the first gallery is given, where ‘deMoer1’ is the name of the folder in which the photo’s are kept.

blogdown::shortcode(.name="gallery", album="deMoer1",  .type="markdown", title = "Huis ter Heide")

Notes about the map in this post

Because the post is written in Rmarkdown, creating the map is very simple. Like most things in R, there are various ways to do this, but I used the arguably most straightforward solution by using the leaflet package. All rather standard, so let me just provide the code.


# Import the vector data with the boundaries of the estate
sdf <- st_read(dsn="huisterheide.gpkg", layer="huisterheide", quiet=TRUE)
sdf <- st_transform(sdf, 4326)
bb  <- as.numeric(st_bbox(sdf))

m <- leaflet(width="100%") %>%
  # Add map tile layers
  addTiles(group = "OpenStreetMap") %>%
  setView(5.031, 51.608, zoom = 13) %>%
  addPolylines(data=sdf, weight = 3, color = "red") %>%
  setMaxBounds( bb[1], bb[2], bb[3], bb[4])

And as one should always proivde the sources of the data used; the source of the vector layer with the boundaries of the estate is I imported the layer in QGIS, extracted the boundaries of ‘Huis ter Heide’ and saved it as a geopackage; the one being imported in the code above.

The photo’s were taken with a Fujifilm X-T20 camera. The lenses I use are the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R and the Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8~4 XF OIS R. A great little camera, easy to take with you and it takes great pictures with these lenses. For editing and managing my photo’s, I use Digikam, Darktable and Gimp. All open source programs, and arguably amongst the best solutions out there, open source or not.

Paulo van Breugel
Paulo van Breugel
Lecturer & researcher

My interests range from biodiversity and ecology to spatial data analysis. I am also what one could describe as a lifelong learner; I enjoy to learn new things and widen my horizon, both professionally and personally.

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