King of the meadows

King of the Meadows (Frisian: Kening fan 'e greide) is a community project that asks the attention for the future of the agricultural landscape in Friesland, the northern part of The Netherlands, with all the life and work in and around it. Symbolized by the endangered black-tailed godwit, King of the meadows.

The initiators not only ring the alarm bell, but above all they want to accomplish that really something will be done for a meadow landscape with a natural variety. Therefore they appeal to everyone who has a place in his heart for the meadow landscape. Young and old, from citizens to organizations, from farmers to artists, from scientists to politicians.

King of the Meadows is looking for new ways to protect the future of the meadow landscape. It chooses for a multi-disciplinary approach, bottom-up. Starting from the principle that there can only be achieved a result when everybody is aware of the unique character of the meadow landscape. And that there’s only a solution imaginable when it’s possible to run a farm in the meadow bird-landscape in a sustainable way that is profitable at the same time. Public consent only is not enough; above all we must start to think and act in a different way.

Sytze is one of the initiators of King of the Meadows and to contribute to a greater awareness of this issue, he develops several projects as an artist. One of them is to involve the amateur brass scene which is huge in Friesland, in this matter by arranging a part from his symphony LÂN (Land) for brass band. The piece called ‘Reade skries’ (Bar-tailed Godwit) is about the fragility of the meadow birds coming and going every years in smaller amounts to and from Friesland.

Parallel to this, Friesland’s most famous poet, Tsjêbbe Hettinga, wrote a poem on the same musical piece: ‘De wiisfûgel’. In the near future Sytze will develop together with the Dutch writer Jannie Regnerus a musical fairy-tale for children based on the story of the travelling meadow birds.