German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Hamme lowlands (Hammeniederung)


Lower Saxony

Physiographic unit:

Hamme-Oste-Niederung und Wesermarschen (Hamme-Oste lowland and Weser marshes)


Core area 2,715 ha

Project description:

Hamme lowlands © BfN
Hamme lowlands

The project area consists of wet lowlands with many watercourses, oxbows, bog lakes and numerous interlinking dikes and channels, as well as small-scale occurrence of raised bog vegetation. The area defined by the demarcated section of river encompasses almost the entire floodplain of the Hamme river and falls within two Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the EU Birds Directive (Natura 2000 sites: "Untere Hammeniederung" and "Hammeniederung mit 'Breites Wasser'").

Among the species of particular conservation value, the most important are the avifauna such as Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), the corncrake (Crex crex), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), blacktailed godwit (Limosa limosa), the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), the garganey (Anas querquedula) and the short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) as well as certain dragonfly species threatened with extinction (Aeschna viridis, Aeshna subarctica elisabethae and the small red damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum).

Threats are caused by changes in the water regime and increasingly intensive agricultural land use. The main objective of the project is hence to safeguard and further develop the area as a large-scale open lowland characterized by extensive grassland. To achieve this objective, the main strategy envisaged is the purchase of land on a large scale. A key focus of the project is on cooperation with the water management sector in order to enable more widespread and longer-lasting flooding in the area. Furthermore, habitat management measures will take the form of removing riverbank reinforcements, restoring oxbow lakes and implementing a visitor management concept.

Funding period:

1995 to 2009

Grant amount:

€16.23 million

Entity responsible for the project:

Landkreis (district) of Osterholz
Osterholzer Straße 23
27711 Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Germany

Tel.: +49 4791 930-570, Fax: +49 4791 930-11570


Project funding agencies:

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Land (state) of Lower Saxony and Landkreis (district) of Osterholz

Liaison at BfN:

Dr. Ulla Steer, Unit FG II 2.3

Further information:

Natur und Landschaft (Nature and landscape, German language journal), Volume 73 (1998), Issue 7/8, 312 - 319 (Ordering instructions, only in German)

...find out more on the Internet (only in German)

Last Change: 01/01/2015