Valuable biosphere reserves along the Green Belt

The model region is home to three biospheres on the Green Belt, with a nation- or countrywide significance for the preservation of species and biotopes:

1. River landscape of the Elbe
2. Landgraben-Dumme lowland, north of Salzwedel
3. Heath and dry grass locations, north of Lake Arendsee

Points of Interest on the Green Belt

Nature experiences in the Green Belt around Salzwedel

Marshy woods with a primeval character, wet meadows, ponds and bogs define the Green Belt north of Salzwedel. A wooden boardwalk runs through the Salzwedel city forest, an extensive bog-alder forest, from which a chorus of birds and frogs can be heard, depending on the season. With a little luck, you might be able to see bats hunting, or even black storks, sea eagles and cranes. Close by, at the ponds in Brietz, the storage ponds and in the Chein peatlands, there are wet meadows in flower, rich in orchids, the ideal habitats for butterflies and other insects.
In the winter months, from October to the end of February, the ponds and shallow water areas of the Kusebruch meadow, newly created through restoration programmes, offer the ideal viewing conditions for rare water birds, cranes and northern geese.
The Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) offers a range of guided tours from Salzwedel, and viewing stands and observation towers offer exciting views and insights into the Green Belt.

BUND LV Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.
Koordinierungsbüro Grünes Band (Green Belt Coordination Office)
Phone: +49 039000-90872, +49 0151/12558830

Nature paradise River Elbe floodplain near Lenzen

Right on the town's doorstep there is a true natural paradise: in the middle of the former deadly corridor, more than 400 hectares of new flood plain and a new wildlife sanctuary have been created. The high water dam of the river Elbe was moved over a kilometre inland, flood-plain meadows were newly planted, and marshy meadows and many small lakes were created. These areas are now being left almost entirely to themselves, so that a new floodplain wildlife sanctuary can arise. The Elbe dam offers exciting insights for the nature-oriented visitor into these newly created habitats. During breeding periods, many typical species can be observed, such as peewits, greylags and in winter, Arctic geese and whooper swans. Rarer guests include avocets, greenshanks and redshanks.
Guided bicycle trips are offered from the Burg Lenzen visitor centre. Some special views of this newly created nature paradise are provided by two former border towers on the Elbe dam.
Just a few kilometres downriver there is another exciting 'border experience point' in the village of Unbesandten: In the barn of the listed farmhouse of the Pauli family, an exhibition on the subject of 'All about Life and Survival in the Restricted Area' was set up. It tells the story of the everyday life of the villagers in the restricted area and invites you to explore the village and its natural surroundings on your own.

BUND Besucherzentrum Burg Lenzen (visitor centre)
Burgstraße 3, 19309 Lenzen, Germany
Phone: +49 038792-1221
Fax: +49 038792-80 673

Lake Arendsee - Blue Pearl at the Green Belt

In the middle of the former restricted area lies Lake Arendsee, the largest lake in Saxony-Anhalt. Apart from leisure and recreational resources, Lake Arendsee offers many highlights. The town of Arendsee, romantically situated right on the lakeside, boasts impressive mediaeval monastery ruins and lies on the Romanic Road.
Lake Arendsee itself provides impressive observation posts for the evening arrival of geese, since it is an important resting place for as many as 50,000 northern geese and other water birds. Guided tours by the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND) [Friends of the Earth Germany] take you to the best observation sites for this magnificent natural spectacle.
North of Lake Arendsee, the Green Belt takes on a very different character: Here the former border patrol path runs through open sand dunes, heaths and expansive spruce woods. A ideal habitat for rare bird species such as the nightjar, which can be seen and heard on nocturnal excursions in May and June. An ideal starting point for excursions to the Green Belt is the former frontier barracks in Ziemendorf. Large rooms and holiday apartments provide an ideal stopover for families interested in nature. As a memorial to the division of Germany, the new owners have built a staircase of human rights in the former frontier barracks.

Tourist Information Lake Arendsee
Töbelmannstraße 1 - 39619 Arendsee, Germany
Phone: +49 039384-27164 - Fax: +49 039384-27480

BUND LV Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.
Coordination Office Green Belt
Phone: +49 039000-90872, +49 0151/12558830