The Loonse en Drunense Duinen (Loonse and Drunense Dunes) is a national park situated in the south of the Netherlands, between the cities of Tilburg, Waalwijk & 's-Hertogenbosch. It has been designated as a national park since 2002. It is 35 km² (14 mile²) in area.
It's the biggest drift sand area in Europe.The sand was left there after the ice ages, but covered with a layer of top soil. This top soil was stripped in the middle ages by overgrazing and deforestation, uncovering the bare sand. This was one of the first ecological disasters caused by mankind in it's history, only to reversed when it started creating economical havoc (in the Veluwe region, for example, when the dunes started threatening cities like Arnhem) Only then did the early Dutch government started to act.
In the past it swallowed several of villages. finally they kept the sand away by planting a lot of trees in a row between the village and the sand. The oaks who are centuries old, are all covered by sand and only the upper branches are above the surface.
Although, what's left of these areas nowadays support a rare ecosystem not found in much other parts of Europe, or even the world, and should be protected as such, it should also teach some valuable lessons about how to treat our planet.