You need to be a good team to effectively share knowledge. On this page our instructors
Photo: Jeroen (left) and Tom (right) looking for tracks. Photo by Ronny te Wechel.
From an early age, one could find me outside, discovering the world. I built my own hide to
observe a buzzards nest, this buzzard being the first in many decades to breed in our area.
This way, I could observe what was happening on site. Birdwatching in the wetlands around
the river IJssel was another favourite pastime and of course, going on 'survival' with my
friends using our self-built survival kit. During military service I had my first experiences
with tracking. Although this was man-tracking, my interest was peeked.
Though my interest in tracking never faded, I only really started to develop my skills after my
training to become a Nature Guide at the IVN institute in the Netherlands. A part of this
course was a lecture and a field excursion on the topic of tracking. These really hooked me
and this interest never faded. I find it fascinating how tracks tell the stories about those
animals that are hiding from us. When I started to learn about how I influence my surroundings, I became aware of the
possibilities for minimising my impact and so, was able to observe them from up-close. I also
volunteer for organisations involved with badgers, otters and wolves in my spare time.
Tracking is an integral part of my life.
Track & sign are a daily passion. I view it as a positive challenge to pass this knowledge on,
in a well thought-out didactic plan. To plant a seed, so people can develop themselves. Parts
of this knowledge I can impart using a website, but a lot of this knowledge can only be
passed on in the field through a ‘hands on’ approach. This I do with a lot of pleasure along
with Tom Dekker. I hope to meet you during one of our activities!
I have always enjoyed the outdoors. Hiking, running and playing with the children. When I
became a nature guide, I realized that there was a lot more to see, taste and hear. I saw much
more of the birds, the mammals, the insects, the trees and of the whole. This is an inspiring
Although I have a broad interest in nature, my greatest pleasure is the study of track and sign.
Perhaps because each track or sign is the key to a larger story, a puzzle that needs to be
solved. When I loom around I track, I think about the animal: which kind of animal was it?
What did it do? How did it feel? I also like the art of trailing, following the tracks until you
can actually see the animal. This is where it all comes together: first you have to identify the
track and the behaviour of the animal, then follow the tracks and become one with your
surroundings. Mindfulness at it’s best.
I believe that you can apply the art of tracking in daily life as well. You learn how to use your
senses and you learn to analyse situations in a systematic way. In tracking, instant judgement
can lead to wrong interpretations. This is the same in daily life. Love people, don’t judge
them immediately. Take your time to understand each other.
It is not easy to become a specialist in track and sign. It requires a lot of hours of study and
“dirt time”. Which I thoroughly enjoy. I also love to teach and share knowledge. If I can help
start that little spark in a person’s heart, making them curious about nature’s secrets, I have
succeeded in what I love to do. I hope to see you soon at our workshops and courses!