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Bundesamt für Naturschutz


Areas and habitats
Large-Scale Conservation Projects
Extensive beech forests and diversely structured cultural landscapes
Federal state
Division II 2.1 Biotope Protection and Management; Protected Areas
Funding Project I: 2005 - 2008 (drafting of a management and development plan), Funding Project II: 2009 - 2018 (implementation of investment measures)
Core area: 12,635 ha project area: 40,840 ha
Hesse, in the administrative districts of Waldeck-Frankenberg and Schwalm-Eder
Grant amount
Funding Phase I: 560.000 €, Funding Phase II: 6.520.000 €

Project description

The purpose of the project is to protect the Kellerwald region and its cultural landscape, extensive forests and rich plant and animal populations.

The physiographic character of the Kellerwald is shaped by the beech forests that make up Central Europe’s main ecosystem and by a diversely structured cultural landscape. The core areas possess the corresponding characteristics: largely intact deciduous ecological communities with extensive old wood and deadwood of above-average scope, together with use forms and landscape components of a richly structured open landscape so characteristic for Germany’s central uplands.

The heavily adapted cultural landscape and the extensive forests of the Kellerwald region provide a habitat unique in Germany for numerous plant and animal species, many of which are at risk. These include species threatened with extinction such as the rock bunting, the Setina roscida moth and the violet click beetle. The region also houses the following endangered species: great grey shrike, grey partridge, whinchat, northern bat, Brandt’s bat, smooth snake, brook lamprey, European bullhead, the white-lipped rams-horn snail, the poplar admiral, the purple-edged copper butterfly, Eupithecia denticulata/impurata moths, the large marsh grasshopper, flea sedge, red-tipped cudweed, hill violet, rusty bog-moss, blushing bog-moss and obtuse bog-moss.

The aim of the project is to preserve and develop the extensive beech forests and the diverse cultural landscape in the Kellerwald region. Among the measurements planned are the conversion of coniferous forests into adapted native deciduous forests, the promotion of natural beech forests, the regeneration of wet forest communities as well as the renaturation of springs in forests and of running waters. The project contributes not only to maintaining this beech forest complex of national importance to Germany, it is also designed to secure the potential of the adjoining rural areas as part of an integrated and networked approach. The ultimate aim is to develop a model landscape and model region within the meaning of the Rio Summit, providing tried and tested solutions for nature conservation, land use, and for nature-compatible and sustainable regional development and tourism in rural areas.

Project executing agencies

Zweckverband Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee
Laustraße 8, 34537 Bad Wildungen

Project funding agencies

German Environment Ministry (BMUB)/Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the State of Hessen and the Zweckverband Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee
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