The spring field meeting 1996 visited the region around Woerden. Recent records are being compared with earlier records of the spring field meeting of 1956. Although in this region the impoverishment of natural values is substantial, due to urbanisation and intensive agriculture, the situation in most of the protected areas which we visited during this weekend appeared to be astonishingly unchanged during the last four decades. The exception to this was the Zuidnes (Kamerikse Nessen) where polluted surface water got free entrance to the precious rich fenn vegetation after reconstruction of an old ditch.