18 December 2019

Smoke-free millyards around the Museum Mills

From January 1, 2020, all millyards around the Museum Mills are non-smoking areas. The Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation (SWEK) finds it important to contribute to the general policy of discouragement. As an added bonus, the smoking ban will improve overall safety.

The decision to ban smoking across all the millyards is explained by Jan-Willem de Winter, museum mill manager at SWEK. “A millyard is a vulnerable place. You absolutely want to prevent people from casually flicking a cigarette bud into the reeds. A smoking ban is our way to make sure no unnecessary fire hazards arise around our windmills. Of course, we also do this to protect our non-smoking visitors from breathing in the cigarette fumes of other while they relax on one of the benches. We have a lot of families with children visiting here, especially at the Blokweer Museum Mill.”

Let’s be honest: do we really want to expose these young ladies to toxic fumes?

Let’s be honest: do we really want to expose these young ladies to toxic fumes?


Starting on New Year’s Day, the millyards surrounding the Blokweer and Nederwaard Museum Windmills are smoke-free areas. In addition, the outdoor terrace of the Visitors Centre will be a non-smoking zone. The same restriction obviously applies to the Overwaard Museum Mill, which will be ready to receive its first visitors by April 2020. Signs will be placed to alert visitors to the smoking ban. A special smoking area will be arranged for any smoking SWEK staff members, allowing them to enjoy a cigarette hidden from view of our guests.

So what about our hospitality towards visitors who prefer to smoke? De Winter: “Well, apart from the designated millyards, our guests are still free to smoke a cigarette if they wish. Even so, nobody should simply be tossing their cigarette buds away into the fragile natural surroundings of the Kinderdijk mills, of course.”

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