Board B

Scottish Highlanders

As a result of the construction of the residential area Waalre-Noord, the municipality is creating new nature. The area at the front is part of this nature compensation. Since 2017, Scottish Highlanders have been grazing here. The Taurus Foundation ( owns the animals and monitors their well-being. The Highlanders are responsible for ensuring a variety of plants and animals in the area. In the area, you can find not only grass but also herbs, rough vegetation, and shrubs. This diversity provides a habitat for various animal species.

Scottish Highlanders have been used for over 30 years in the Netherlands for natural grazing. They are self-sufficient animals, meaning they can thrive in various conditions. They give birth to small calves that they can deliver without assistance. The animals can endure cold and inclement weather. Even in hot weather, they don't have issues; they seek shade. The small herd has enough food throughout the year. Only under extreme conditions, such as when there is prolonged snow cover, is the herd supplemented with food.

Keep a Distance from the Animals

Highlanders are very calm animals. They may look cuddly, especially the calves, but they prefer to be left alone. If you maintain a distance, it will be safe for both the Highlanders and the visitors. Try to keep at least 25 meters away as a visitor. Keep your dog on a leash if you are walking with your dog. It is important not to walk between a calf and a cow when there are calves. Walk around them in a wide arc.

If you see something that you believe the owner should know immediately, such as an animal in distress or an animal outside the enclosure, please contact the municipality of Waalre at 040-2282500.


A large pond has been dug in this area to provide drinking facilities for the Scottish Highlanders. This pond has water year-round. During high temperatures, the Highlanders seek cooling by finding shade and bathing in the pond. A portion of the pond is fenced with posts and wire to provide space for amphibians, dragonflies, and other animal species in the pond.

A well-developed pond is teeming with life. Special amphibians that inhabit ponds include the alpine newt, European tree frog, and marbled newt. Green frogs are also common in and around ponds. Distinctive dragonfly species that depend on ponds for their reproduction include the banded demoiselle, common winter damselfly, and scarce blue-tailed damselfly. Special plants that like to grow in and around ponds include the water soldier, bogbean, and oval sedge. Not only the pond itself but also the shore can be of great value to animal and plant species. Warm-loving insects, for example, make their nests in sunny spots on the north bank.


Bats are mammals and, like other mammals, have a furry coat. They give birth to their young and the females have mammary glands to nurse their young. The young have milk teeth and only get their permanent teeth later. Bats that occur in the Netherlands feed on insects.

A bat is the only mammal that can fly. They can fly using membranes between their fingers. The wings consist of an elastic membrane with muscles and blood vessels. When bats are not flying, they hang by their hind legs with their wings folded. Their hind legs have a sort of locking mechanism to secure their legs. This way, the bat ensures it won't fall.


Bats are nocturnal animals and are active in the dark. Most species have poor eyesight but very acute hearing. What makes bats unique is "echolocation." Bats emit ultrasonic sounds that bounce off objects. The bat picks up the echo, allowing it to precisely locate obstacles or prey and determine their size.

All bats in the Netherlands are protected.

Bat Cellar

The Waalre-Noord area is an excellent habitat for bats due to the linear green lanes and the presence of water in the area (water pond 'De Meeris' and the Dommel river). Bat species currently found in the area include the brown long-eared bat, serotine bat, Daubenton's bat, Nathusius' pipistrelle, common pipistrelle, and whiskered bat. To further increase the biodiversity (number of plant and animal species) in the area, the municipality installed a bat cellar in the area in 2019. Bats that use such a cellar include the brown long-eared bat, Daubenton's bat, barbastelle, Natterer's bat, and parti-coloured bat.

In the bat cellar, which resembles a cave, bats go into hibernation. Bats are highly sensitive to disturbance from light, noise, strong odors, and temperature fluctuations. Therefore, bat cellars are constructed to meet specific conditions:

  • High humidity
  • Constant temperature, ranging from 5 to 15°C in summer and 1 to 10°C in winter
  • Minimal or no light and sound penetration
  • No disturbances
  • Air free from strong odors