All expeditions

On Thursday our guests explored the vicinity of Venhorst during an expedition.
To give you an idea of the expeditions some pictures of the actual visits were added to the expedition descriptions below:

1. Heeze-Leende & Hamont-Achel

This field trip visits an old monastry right on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. We have a guided bus tour in the neighbouring Natura 2000 area and a walking tour on the monastery itself. Participants are invited to give their views in 2 interactive workshops. We explore how we can find a financially viable future for this complex and its surroundings. And we talk about the role of LEADER as bottom up approach and the opportunities of cross border cooperation


2. Someren-Asten

Civic Centre De Ruchte in Someren

These two adjacent and cooperating municipalities are a local breeding ground for sustainable grassroots movements. Inhabitants are working closely together with a number of social entrepreneurs to bring about change. Their actions are based on a personal sense of responsibility and on mutual trust. They believe in the fundamental power of the community and are working closely together with local businesses, schools and public administrators in a bottom-up setting of experimental learning.


3. Peel en Maas:
Kasteel de Keverberg in Kessel

The Dutch way: Citizens in action in Europe
The villagers of Kessel (4000 inhabitants) rebuilt the ruins of the Keverberg into a spectacular castle in 2014 and 2015. About sixty volunteers participated and got support from the municipality of Peel en Maas. It is an inspiring example of the way the municipality of Peel en Maas is promoting self-governance of citizens. Peel en Maas is one of the main forerunners in community building and self-governance in the Netherlands and has gained a lot of experience over the past 15 years. With this Expedition you get a change to visit Keverberg Castle and learn more about how the community of Kessel accepted the challenge of restoring of the Keverberg ruins and came into action


4. Gemert-Bakel:
Elsendorp & Farmers Union Museum

‘Small village, great people’: Elsendorp is the smallest community of the municipality Gemert-Bakel, with 1.100 inhabitants. We are continuously searching for new sustainable social business cases in order to generate finances, which we invest in activities and projects that improve our wellbeing. For example elderly care and renewable energy.

At the open-air exposition of the Farmers Union Museum in Gemert you will be able to meet up with daily life in the area during the first half of the 20th century (
Click here for more information.


5. Gemert-Bakel:
De Stippelberg & Castle Gemert

The municipality of Gemert-Bakel has about 30.000 inhabitants. The rural character of the area offers them high quality living, working and leisure facilities. Collaboration with other stakeholders delivers the results they want.

Creating experiences and communicating is crucial for involving the wider community.

This Expedition will investigate examples where such principles pay off.

6. Boekel

Boekel has just over 10,000 inhabitants. That number is large enough to allow for a municipal administration and to organize public facilities. However, it is also small enough for people to know each other and to feel a personal responsibility for the well-being of the community. That sense of responsibility and caring for others has always been ingrained in the DNA of Boekel. This expedition will focus on the importance of expressing the social cohesion, solidarity and cooperation that is embedded in the DNA of communities. We will look at some examples in Boekel showing the strength of this local community and reflect on how your local communities are empowered.

We will also visit the greenhouses of Tielemans. They are a family business and produce high-quality tomatoes and cucumbers for markets in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe.
Click here for more information.


7. Peelvenen

For centuries the Peel area was dangerous and virtually impossible to cross. The mossy vegetation – sphagnum – grows on top of an abundance of water that does not naturally drain off here because of the fault lines in the deep subsurface. In the course of thousands of years the moss has grown into a floating package often several meters thick. What remains now are the “Deurnsche Peel” and “Mariapeel” also known as the Peelvenen. These last residues were designated by the European Union as ‘very valuable nature area’ (Natura 2000) and need to be preserved and protected. It colours the backdrop for this Expedition near the border between Brabant and Limburg. We will explore some of the transitions that are taking place in striking a new balance between economy and ecology.
Click here for more information.


8. Mushroomfarm Gemert B.V.  Family Van de Boomen

Mushroom farmers Henk and Hans Van De Boomen, paid roughly 250.000 Euros on an annual basis for their removal. Champost, consisting of, among other things, (chicken) manure, is part of the manure legislation and must be removed. In the case of Van De Boomen to Germany. A very expensive operation, especially because champost consists for approximately 70 percent of moisture.


9. Farmers Union Museum & Agri meets design

At the start of this Expedition we will take you back in time. At the open-air exposition of the Farmers Union Museum in Gemert you will be able to meet up with daily life in the area during the first half of the 20th century ( Farmers played an important role at the time in local communities: Agriculture brought prosperity.

Change is needed: how can farming be reinvented? After lunch we will, therefore, take a peek at what the future may look like.
Click here for more information.



Themes for the ERP 2017

Visiting countries