Hamme lowlands (Hammeniederung)
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.