Marker Wadden, the manmade Dutch archipelago where wild birds reign supreme

A silted-up lake has been transformed into the latest addition to the map of the Netherlands and an eco-haven teeming with wildlife It takes about an hour on the ferry, across often choppy waters, to reach the newest bit of the Europe muddied by swirling silt. Visitors on the main island. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Over the decades, the population of freshwater mussels vital for filtering the silt collapsed, along with the numbers of smelt fish, a favourite of local birdlife, including the common tern. It was a worrying sign of things to come. In 2011 Posthoorn, from the Natuurmonumenten, an NGO whose role combines that of the National Trust and the RSPB, tried to find a way through the political …