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Project aims – What is at stake?

Lower Saxony has the largest proportion of raised bogs within Germany and the Euro-Atlantic region. They used to account for broad swathes of the Lower Saxon lowlands. However, nearly all of them have lost their original character as a result of drainage, peat cutting and cultivation. This creates a special responsibility to preserve and develop the last remaining, largely near-natural raised bogs such as those of the “Hannoversche Moorgeest”.

Their designation as nature reserves and classification as Fauna-Flora-Habitat (FFH) areas and, not least, the many years of voluntary nature conservation activities have laid an important foundation in this respect. Following the approval of the LIFE+ project, it is now possible for the first time to implement an integrated plan aimed at safeguarding and developing all four raised bogs.

The objective is to regenerate the degraded hydrologic balance in the four bogs. This involves wetting the central marshland areas so as to create the conditions a raised bog needs for long-term growth.

Specifically, this includes

  • raising the water levels of the marshland areas, and creating and improving the conditions for peat moss growth,
  • increasing the area of treeless raised bogs and transition mires,
  • optimising the existing bog woodlands according to aspects of nature conservation,
  • stabilising populations of rare and endangered fauna and flora.

Realisation of these aims calls for a raft of different measures, such as land re-allotment, management and development, as well as water regulation and earthworks. Nature conservation and water management are being closely coordinated in the planning and implementation of the re-wetting initiatives.

Milestones – an approximate schedule for the project activities

The envisaged measures not only prepare the ground for improving the development possibilities that exist for the raised bog habitat and its specialised and endangered fauna and flora, but also serve to protect the climate,becausethe wetting of the peat body diminishes the emanation of climate-relevant CO2 gases.
Moorverteilung bundesweit  

Distribution of bogs throughout Germany (source: M. Sommer, Institute of Soil Landscape Research (ZALF-BLF), Müncheberg)

Torfmoose im Bissendorfer Moor  

Peat moss (Sphagnum) on Bissendorfer Moor (picture taken by S. Brosch)


Susanne Brosch

Nds. Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz
Betriebsstelle Hannover-Hildesheim
- Projektleitung Life+ Moorgeest
Göttinger Chaussee 76 A
D-30453 Hannover
Tel: +49 (0)511 / 3034-3115

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