Elbe river alluvial plain at Lenzen (Lenzener Elbtalaue)
The Lenzener Elbtalaue - the Elbe river floodplain near Lenzen - is of national importance for its habitat types and complexes characteristic to the middle Elbe river floodplains and its strong potential for establishing near-nature alluvial forest over a large area.
The prime aim of the project is to restore a near-natural floodplain landscape and flooding regime by setting back the dyke behind 420 ha of floodplain and creating cutaways in the old dyke. The Lenzener Elbtalaue large-scale nature conservation project was a model of cooperation between river management and nature conservation. After a planning phase, implementation followed with land purchase and settlement of lease arrangements, construction of the new dyke (by the State of Brandenburg), cuttings being made in the old dyke alongside the river, planting of the alluvial forest, work to encourage the development of alluvial meadows, and various other habitat-related measures.
The floodplain between the new dyke and the river has become a mosaic of new flood channels, semi-open meadow countryside and alluvial forest that will eventually grow through natural succession to cover an area of some 300 ha. The new habitat complexes created as a result of the project will benefit species including beaver, fire-bellied toad, tree frog and white-tailed eagle. In 2008, shortly after creation of the new flood channels, many duck species were spotted along with other species such as snipe, northern lapwing, redshank, pied avocet, little and common ringed plover, oystercatcher, black-tailed godwit and black-winged stilt.
The area's ongoing development will be documented in evaluations in 2016 and 2021. During the floods of 2011 and 2013 the dike relocation had beneficial hydraulic effects by reducing peak levels.