'Stichting ADM Leeft' has the aim to protect the natural values on and around the ADM grounds.

In 2015 an in-depth report was made by an independent ecological expert from ARDA advies voor natuur en landschap. This report lists all species of flora and fauna found so far on the ADM. Click here to view (and or download) this report.

Experimental ecosystem:
The ADM community has formed organically within her environment on the terrain. A forest has grown along with the many houses and huts. Some parts are designated as natural and thus left alone to let nature take her own course. The rest has largely been formed by the ADM inhabitant.
The ADM has quite a number of habitat types present: forest with grass ground cover; forest with understorey; pioneer forest; sea-buckthorn (duindoorn) thickets, blackberry thickets; open patches of grass surrounded by forest; larger patches of grassland; forest edges; half-wild gardens; temporary small ponds; permanent small ponds; occasionally inundated marshy areas; rocky water edges (brackish); reeded water edges (brackish); shallow brackish water; semi-landed reed islands in shallow brackish water; freshwater lake; forest at edge of lake with marshy undergrowth and reeded edges of freshwater pool. All together these habitats and their inhabitants form the ADM ecosystem. A vital part in the larger harbour ecosystem.
All these different habitats provide home to many different plant and animal species such as the protected riet-orchis; echt duizendguldenkruid; kingfisher (ijsvogel); cuckoo (koekoek); pond bat (meervliermuis); bittern (roerdomp); nightingale (nachtegaal) amongst many others.

ADM - natural haven:
When the ADM was built in the 60's by piling meters of sand onto the clay soils it was surrounded by agriculture. Old air photos show the ADM-grounds amongst open polder fields and farmhouses. The ship-building activities on the ADM (Amsterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij) were stopped in 1977. From 1987 to 1992 and from 1997 to present it was squatted and used for cultural and artistic purposes. Since then the vegetation has been allowed to take form naturally with only subtle influences from the ADM human.
When the squatters first arrived in 1997 cows were still being grazed on the 'polders' on the southern half of the ADM-grounds. In 2004 when a nature-evaluation was made the ADM was still surrounded by marshy, shrubby grounds where the plants and animals from the old agricultural lands as well as the imported dune/ sandy soil species could thrive. Since then however, harbour activities have been slowly enclosing the ADM-terrain and the areas left open are mowed regularly to avoid development of any high vegetation. Especially the animals that used to find their home around the ADM are being forced to move onto the ADM-grounds where the structural diversity provides plenty of space for many different species.

Due to the diversity in vegetation structure on the ADM, and the many different habitats there is a high degree of biodiversity. Here is an initial list of some of the animals that live on the ADM. These lists are not complete as there are many more species that make their home here...

Bird species (list not complete):
Magpie (Ekster)
Jay (Gaai)
Crow (Kraai)
Marsh tit (Glanskop)
Blue tit (pimpelmees)
Winter wren (Winterkoning)
Great tit (Koolmees)
Long-tailed tit (Staartmees)
Cuckoo (Koekoek)
Chiffchaff (Tjiftjaf)
Barn swallow (Boerenzwaluw)
House martin (Huiszwaluw)
Goshawk (Havik)
Blackbird (Merel)
Starling (Spreeuw)
Robin redbreast (Roodborst)
Heron (Reiger)
Song thrush (Zanglijster)
Nightingale (Nachtegaal)
Kingfisher (IJsvogel)

Mammals (list not complete):
Pond bat (Meervleermuis)
Pipistrelle (Dwergvleermuis)
Fox (Vos)
Vole (Wolmuis)
Weasel (Wezel)
Shrew (Spitsmuis)
Hedgehog (Egel)


Amphibians (list not complete):
Toad (Gewone pad)
Natterjack toad (Rugstreeppad)
Water frog (Meer kikker)
Common frog (Bruine kikker)
Salamander (Kleine water salamander

Of course there are also many insects (butterflies, dragonflies, wasps, flies, bees, ground insects, water insects).


As mentioned before for more in depth info on the species living on ADM (incl. updates on the above incomplete lists)  see the report made by ARDA in summer of 2015:

The vegetation on the ADM is developing a lot like forests would have grown a thousand years ago. Fast growing willow, poplar and birch trees form the main forest canopy. Parts of the forest has a grassy forest floor with several types of grass and herbs. Other parts have an understory of dogwood (kornoelje) interspersed with a bramble undergrowth. In the open grassy patches oaks and walnuts are starting to grow, brought in by the jays. Here you can also find orchids and other herbs.
Where most of nature in the Netherlands is planned and organised, nature on the ADM has grown largely spontaneously. This has allowed a unique ecosystem to develop, where the humans are a natural part of their environment. A nature evaluation in 2004 revealed that the ADM is an important habitat in the otherwise industrial harbour of Amsterdam. Besides the protected species such as the kingfisher (ijsvogel), bittern (roerdomp), sedge warbler (rietzanger), and pond bat (meervliermuis) there are many more species that live here or use it as a corridor between the natural areas of the Bretten, West Zaan and Spaarnwoude. This can be seen best when viewed from the air or on GoogleMaps for example. When viewed in this way it seems obvious that the ADM provides an important function in the harbour ecosystem - if the forest here were to be flattened the harbour area would become one extremely large and unforgiving industrial desert.