Upper Treene landscape (Obere Treenelandschaft)
The Upper Treene landscape numbers among Germany's relatively few hilly moraine landscapes left by the last ice age.
Features which are particularly characteristic, valuable and nationally significant are the occurrence of bogs (raised and low bogs), beech and mixed beech forests involving special forms of use such as coppice with standards and extensive grazed forests, river valleys including adjacent dry slopes and dunes, heathlands and broad, extensively used areas of grassland and nutrient-poor grassland. The course of the Treene, the main river, has not been altered except for the section between Oeversee and the Treßsee lake. A substantial proportion of typical fauna and flora can be sighted in the area today, evidence of its near-natural status. Species worth mentioning are typical peatland plant species such as common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium), white beak rush (Rhynchospora alba), various Sphagnum mosses, white-faced darter dragonflies (Leucorrhinia) and adders (Vipera berus) as well as typical species of heathlands, dry and oligotrophic grassland communities such as arnica (Arnica montana), viper's grass (Scorzonera humilis) and petty whin (Genista anglica).
The objective of the project is to create a contiguous section of north-west German moraine landscape over a wide area, developing it on conservation principles to establish as complete a range as possible of typical habitats for this landscape. The following subsidiary objectives are to be pursued across all habitats:
- Restoration of the near-natural soil water balance.
- Counteracting use-related fragmentation of the open landscape by instituting broad-scale extensive pasture landscapes.
- Natural evolution of broad-scale, centrally sited woodland and bog areas (protection of natural evolutionary processes).
The primary instrument for implementation of project objectives is land acquisition (failing which, the planned alternative is to take it on a 30-year lease).
Furthermore habitat management and creation measures are planned, in particular forest restructuring, rewetting, scrub clearance and first mowing, measures to stimulate development of the river system and alluvial plain and the removal of obstacles to animal migration along watercourses.