Bordering the North Sea between Belgium and Germany, the Netherlands is low and flat, except in the southeast where some hills rise up to 322m. About half of the country is below sea level, with much of the land reclaimed from the sea. An extensive system of dikes and dams protects against flooding.
Holland is famous for its flowers, both wild flowers such as daisies and buttercups and cultivated varieties, best known among them the Dutch tulip. Wild or large animals are practically nonexistent but many bird species can be found, especially seagulls swarming over the coastal areas. Many kinds of fish abound in the lakes and rivers and harbour seals are found along the North Sea coast.
Air and water pollution are significant environmental problems in the Netherlands. Pollution of the country's rivers results from industrial and agricultural pollution, including heavy metals, organic compounds, nitrates and phosphates.