Mountain meadows in the Eastern Erz mountains
Whereas woods and forests tend to dominate in other German upland locations at altitudes of over 600 m, in large parts of the Eastern Erz mountains altitudes between 600 m and 800 m are mainly characterized by open landscapes. Particularly in the area surrounding Geising and Fürstenau, the specific environmental conditions and almost 400 years of grassland use has given rise to an open landscape with a small-scale mosaic structure. This upland landscape, also valuable from a cultural-historical point of view, consists of extensively managed, species-rich montane meadows with stone walls as distinctive features of the landscape, along with mat-grass grassland, fens and transition mires, damp and wet meadows, unimpeded streams and Hercynian montane mixed forests.
Species of particular importance include the existing black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) population and the occurrence of the Carpathian gentian. Other species found here which are recognized as endangered at national level are wig knapweed (Centaurea phrygia ssp. pseudophrygia), arnica (Arnica montana), the rare pink Dianthus seguieri, orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum), globeflower (Trollius europaeus), early coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida), fir clubmoss (Huperzia selago), butterwort (Pinguiluca), viper's grass (Scorzonera humilis), flea sedge (Carex pulicaris), the annual brown clover Trifolium spadiceum, the northern shrike (Lanius excubitor excubitor), corncrake (Crex crex), black stork (Ciconia nigra), whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago) and the adder (Vipera berus).
The essential objective of support is to safeguard in the long term and upgrade the conservation quality of this broad-scale, richly structured open landscape through extensive land use compatible with the natural environment. The following can be cited as individual project objectives: Conservation and management of the montane meadows rich in wildflowers and of the stone walls typifying the landscape; the rewetting of damp habitats and fens, the conversion of arable land into meadows, the transformation of coniferous forests into near-natural broad-leaved mixed forests and protection from further conversion for human land use.
Project executing agencies
Project funding agencies
Projekt II: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Land (state) of Saxony, district of Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge, city of Altenberg and Förderverein für die Natur des osterzgebirges