Eichsfeld-Werratal Green Belt
The primary objective of this large-scale conservation project is to link numerous valuable habitats into an ecological network, with the Green Belt serving as an ecological corridor. Large areas of forest, valuable farming countryside habitats and rivers are linked to the Green Belt by suitable stepping stone habitats and other corridors.
The project area contains a large proportion of near-natural, mostly forest habitats. These are chiefly beech forest of various types. There are also ravine and scree woodlands, thermophilous oak forest and alder-ash alluvial woodlands.
At least 63 percent of habitats in the core area are endangered or vulnerable according to the Red List. The project area is home to numerous nationally rare, endangered and vulnerable animal and plant species. Notable Red List Category 1 (critically endangered) examples include slender cotton-grass, red stonecrop, the land snails Xerolenta obvia and Helicopsis striata, woodchat shrike, barbastelle bat and lesser horseshoe bat. Other notable species in the project area comprise the European brook lamprey, the marsh fritillary and large blue butterflies, and wildcat. The project area is of national importance as a breeding habitat for black stork.
The main aim of the project is to maintain the habitat diversity and structural diversity of near-natural segments of the Green Belt within the project region. A general objective of the ecological network is to create a more continuous linear woodland/open countryside structure and foster semi-open habitats. This also involves allowing natural succession in appropriate areas.
A further aim of the project is to conserve, manage and foster the development of valuable, rare or endangered forest ecological communities.