The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.



 Amateur gardeners engage in soil cultivation in many ways throughout the year. Sowing, raising, harvesting and processing. Each gardener has his or her own vision on gardening. While one may largely grow vegetables, another mainly has an ornamental garden. For soil cultivation, it is important to create the best possible result. Here, environmental awareness is important and many associations have therefore banned chemical-synthetic crop protection agents.

 The canteen plays an important role within associations. People gather there for activities or to have coffee, and stories and questions are exchanged. What is the best way to grow kale? Over coffee, ten different answers come to this question. The social character of the canteen makes people feel important, loneliness is combated and people look after each other. Mutual involvement is huge. On general working days, people work together on the general maintenance of the complex. Unnoticed, gardeners are doing healthy things on several levels: they grow healthy vegetables (without using pesticides), but they also get a large dose of healthy exercise and completely relax when tending to their gardens.


The Federation of Amateur Garden Associations speaks on behalf of the 11 Alkmaar amateur garden associations. The federation's main task is to maintain contact with the municipality. In addition, the federation tries to support the associations, individual advice is given to boards and certain topics are put on the agenda. Mutual discussion makes associations adopt each other's strengths. The boards of the various associations are ultimately responsible for what happens at their complexes. The following associations fall under the federation: ATV de Volharding, ATV de Zeswielen, ATV Koedijk, ATV de Omval, ATV de Westdijk, ATV  't Spruitje, ATV de Kromme Sloot, ATV de Hoefmolen, ATV de Meerweg, ATV de Vrijheid, ATV de Rekere.

Together, the associations have around 900 members.


Alkmaar has a rich history of allotment gardening. During the Second World War, the municipality of Alkmaar offered allotment gardening residents the opportunity to provide for their own food. In 1943, as many as 1953 gardens were rented out to residents. After the war, cultivation continued in the kitchen gardens, but having your own green space to escape the city bustle became increasingly important also. Following in the footsteps of other municipalities, allotments were included also in zoning plans in the municipality of Alkmaar. In 1958, for instance, the zoning plan of the Overdie district included a garden complex, which was festively opened by mayor Wytema. Initially, all garden associations consisted of gardeners who focused mainly on growing vegetables. Nowadays, however, many changes are visible. Many gardeners have their own greenhouse or gazebo and in the last decade, environmental awareness has become increasingly important. The federation was created about 20 years ago in consultation with the Municipality of Alkmaar. At the time, the municipality held separate talks with each association on all kinds of issues. Based on the desire to arrive at a single point of contact for all associations, the associations formed one overarching board, the Federatie van Alkmaarse Amateurtuinverenigingen. In the following years, each association had one board seat on the federation board. Recently, the federation board consists of only three people (secretary, chairman, treasurer) The federation board members are still members of the member associations.


  • The question how the associations can keep each other informed about activities being organised will be explored and an events calendar will be set up where all associations can announce their events.
  • Associations will be made aware of the enormous added value that a website can provide.
  • There is already an association that pairs new gardeners with experienced ones. This way, they do not feel they have been thrown in at the deep end. Other associations will be encouraged to do the same.
  • At federation level, course evenings will be organised for new gardeners at all complexes.
  • The possibility of internships for students will be encouraged.
  • Open days are organised specifically for young people.
  • Gardeners are informed about the use of animal-friendly methods to prevent crop damage.


Federatie van Amateurtuindersverenigingen Alkmaar e.o.