Swabian Danube Valley (Schwäbisches Donautal)
The project area stretches 87 km along the Danube, from the mouth of the Iller in the west to the mouth of the Lech in the east. The area includes one of the largest unbroken complexes of alluvial forest in Germany. It has an outstanding diversity of species and habitats, with 521 Red List species and 51 threatened habitat types. All characteristic floodplain elements are still in place, including alluvial forest and meadows, oxbows, flood channels, standing water bodies, reed beds, gravel beds, spring mires and fens. Notable fauna species include middle-spotted woodpecker, hairy dragonfly and large marsh grasshopper.
The main project objective is to achieve exemplary conservation status for the alluvial forest and habitats. This includes partial restoration of the natural flooding regime lost in many parts of the project area due to dykes and dams. There are plans to build at least five sluices allowing the alluvial forest to be flooded over a total of some 690 ha. It is also planned to return a 10 km stretch of the Danube banks together with numerous floodplain watercourses to their natural state. Sivicultural changes, sustainable forest management, contract nature conservation and undisturbed areas will help allow the alluvial forest to grow naturally. The project also involves adopting common goals for nature conservation and rural development. An ecologically intact floodplain landscape is intended to provide an attractive basis for nature-based recreation and regional development rooted in the natural landscape.