Opens an external page Link to the homepage

Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Meerbruch-Steinhuder Meer lake and wetland complex

Areas and habitats
Large-Scale Conservation Projects
Moist grassland, habitat for endangered meadow birds
Federal state
Lower Saxony
Division II 2.1 Biotope Protection and Management; Protected Areas
1990 - 2001
Core area 1.077 ha
Lower Saxony, north-west of Hannover
Grant amount
6.700.000 €

Project description

The Meerbruch area is part of the Steinhuder Meer lake and wetland complex, a wetland of international importance. The site is an expansive area of grassland on fen soils (nutrient-rich damp meadows, reeds and swamps, nutrient-poor sedge-fen communities) with isolated birch and alder carr communities, pond reedbeds and ditches. The growing intensification of agriculture in the region in recent decades has been detrimental to its function as an important breeding and resting site for species dependent on wet grassland. Endangered breeding bird species include the curlew (Numenius arquata), oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), ruff (Philomachus pugnax), common redshank (Tringa totanus) and common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), as well as the Eurasian crane (Grus grus) and the white stork (Ciconia ciconia). 

The objective of the project is to safeguard and develop valuable damp and wet meadows as a habitat for bird species dependent upon damp and wet grasslands, and to reduce fertilizer and pesticide pollution of the waters. 

During the course of project implementation, numerous sites in the core area were successfully acquired. This was the prerequisite for the extensification of land use and for the implementation of rewetting measures. The habitat management measures taken included the damming of drainage ditches and the creation of bog lakes. In addition, footpaths were diverted and observation platforms repositioned to minimize the impacts of human intrusion.

Project executing agencies

Naturpark Steinhuder Meer, Region Hannover
Postfach 147, 30001 Hannover

Project funding agencies

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Land (state) of Lower Saxony, Naturpark Steinhuder Meer (Steinhuder Meer country park)
To the top