Quite different is the picture in the east where sand and high moors replace the lowland peat and clay. The elevation is still low, although above sealevel, but in many places glacial ridges of sand give a rolling aspect to the country, causing it to contrast strongly with the broad river valleys with their flat clays. In some places the picture still includes much wasteland, which is wonderful in summer when the purple color of the heather stands out against the dark green patches of a forest containing stately pines and majestic oaks and beeches. Aside from their timber the present value of this wasteland is mainly that it provides recreation for the surrounding dense population, the great density of which can be appreciated only by careful study and especially of the scale used in shading that map.
A great shift is taking place in the use of the sandy uplands. Once they were the most backward part of Holland, a region of meager fields of rye, buckwheat, and potatoes, and a place for wandering herds of sheep, but the need of arable land and the possibility of raising highly productive crops have entirely changed the aspect of land utilization very much as in the peninsula of Florida. Heavy fertilization is necessary to make the soil productive, but prosperous villages show the result of man's effort to challenge nature.
Wheat, oats, and sugar beets are gaining in importance, and governmental help has caused the acreage of wheat to double in recent years. Nevertheless, the main emphasis is placed on dairying, based on grassland as well as fodder crops. Orchards and vegetable gardens besides field crops, do well on the river clays, and the raising of swine and chickens is a profitable local industry. The increase of population has been very rapid and has been helped by the development of manufacturing.
Aside from the general industrial development two regions have gained prominence: one, in the eastern part of the province of Overyse (Twente) east of the Zuider Zee, specializes in textiles and machinery; another, in North Brabant, which forms the southern part of Holland, makes more diverse goods such as textiles, shoes, tobacco goods, machinery, electrical supplies, etc. No really large cities have grown up in this eastern sandy area, although a number of flourishing cities reflect its increasing importance.
Limburg, Holland's southeastern province, extends far south along the Maas River touching a part of the fertile loess uplands so typical of adjacent Belgium. The landscape is very different from that of the rest of Holland. Here elevations up to 1,000 feet are reached, whereas the glacial ridge of the eastern upland scarcely passes 300 feet; here are real valleys and hilly divides; here are quarries of stone unknown in the rest of Holland except in the form of glacial boulders. The main value of this southern offshoot of Holland is not so much the rich cropland as the coalmines, which are a part of the coalfield extending from northern France toward the Rhine. The production about equals the consumption in Holland as a whole, but its eccentric location makes it profitable to sell the coal to the neighboring manufacturing regions of Belgium and Germany, while the coal for most of Holland is brought from Germany by way of the Rhine.