why did he go to the trouble of bringing
them in? Because he has a hobby: he aims
to prove that industry and nature can live
happily together, and all the signs indicate
that he is right.
Large numbers of meadow birds such as
peewits live amid the grass halms. Higher
up perch the small owls, and a wood
pecker recently left his visiting card in the
form of holes hammered into the trees.
And of course there are many kestrels
which feast continuously on the numerous
field-mice, though these - despite the birds
of prey - are clearly quite at home. This is
because no chemicals are used on the
Zoeterwoude flora. One other result of
this however is that there are large armies
of moles and Mr. Dikken is not too happy
about them for the building surrounds are
embellished by many square feet of lawn.
This pleasant expanse of level green is
enhanced by trees, by a variety of plants
and - recently introduced - hundreds and
hundreds of roses. Teun Dikken likes
plants just as much as he likes animals.
That he is doing well in this field also is
proved by the fact that Heineken won first
prize in a garden contest last year.
But to return to the fauna. The blue heron
is also a frequent guest, attracted by the
cleanliness of the environment and the
abundance of his favourite food, fish and
frogs, which have found a home in the
water at Heineken.
Near the office building there is a big
pond, dug when construction was in
progress. Many kinds of fish - of types
normally found in Dutch waterways - live
in it. All are healthy and producing
offspring. One foreign guest imposed on
them by the Fisheries Department is the
Chinese grass carp. It was imported by the
Dutch Government because of its eating
habits. The theory is that since it is
addicted to water plants there is no need to
use chemicals to keep down this type of
greenery. The idea is a good one, but the
plain fact is that when the temperature
rises above normal the Chinese grass carp
eats twice as much! The result is that in a
hot summer all plants in certain areas
disappear and this means that many other
fish die through lack of the oxygen
normally produced by plants. For this
reason the Government exercises great
care and has chosen a hundred secluded
spots - the Heineken pond among them -
where the Chinese fish is under rigorous
It is interesting to note that the depart
mental inspector responsible for Chinese
grass carp at Zoeterwoude considers that
the pond generally is doing extremely well
with regard both to fish and to plants.
These latter include, according to the
inspector, many rare varieties.
There are, naturally, many kinds of duck,
a number of geese, a turkey family, swans
and a miscellany of other waterfowl.
They all know Teun Dikken when he
leaves his houseboat in the morning on his
way to work - carrying a package of bread
crumbs. As the birds gather round him for
their daily ration, each in its own way
wishes him 'Good morning'. It's perhaps
not entirely because of the food that they
give him such a hearty welcome.