German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


General information

Sites are selected for the national natural heritage transfer list according to categories as follows:

Military training grounds in particular provide important refuges for species such as white-tailed eagles and wolves that need plenty of land and peaceful surroundings, because many such areas offer large, unfragmented and to a great extent untouched habitats. The land is not generally fertilised or subject to other uses. Tanks, grenades, and periodic wildfires have created open countryside and in many places left patches of bare soil – ideal sites for species that specialise in the sort of nutrient-poor open habitats that are rare in the Central European landscape today. Many such areas are no longer used by the military. In some cases, sheep, goats, horses or cattle keep habitats and heathland open. Other areas remain untouched and are left to develop naturally on their own.

W. Bromisch, Landschaftspflegeverband Mittelfranken
Horses (Przewalski) on the site "Tennenlohe"

The main conservation objectives with regard to national natural heritage areas subject to transfer include:

  • Conservation and development of natural woodland
  • Conservation and development, management and use of valuable protected or endangered open countryside ecosystems
  • Conservation and development of near-natural riparian, floodplain and water sites (including coastal flood areas) and bogs and fens.

LPV Rügen e.V.
Beech forest on the site "Stedar/Pulitz", Rügen

Any commercial use of woodland in areas earmarked for transfer is discontinued. In the future development of woodland in national natural heritage sites, top priority is given to the growth of natural forest (natural succession areas where forestry activi-ties no longer take place): From the date of transfer, no further cultivation is to be provided for in any woodland suitable for designation as a natural succession area. Until they are suitable for such designation, other woodland areas can continue to be managed in accordance with conservation objectives and the criteria of recognised forestry certification schemes. An exemption is made for activities in forest stands that require certain forms of cultivation to prevent them from reverting to another form (such as coppice woodland and woodland pasture), and likewise for measures to make the land safe for the public.

Primary responsibility for the ongoing development of the areas concerned now lies with the new owners. In consultation with the Federal Environment Ministry and BfN, these lay down management and land use strategies in accordance with ambitious objectives and visions, thus promoting the emergence of new wilderness. Management and development plans and visions are now under development with due regard to economically and socially acceptable criteria.

National Natural Heritage

K. Leidorf
Green belt
Nationalparkamt Vorpommern
Site "Sundische Wiese" (dune)
BR Mittelelbe, M. Pannach
large-scale conservation project "Mittlere Elbe"
U. Albrecht
heathland on the site "Prösa" (Bad Liebenwerda)
A. Weber
Post-mining landscape


Last Change: 06/09/2018