Border experiences in the quadripoint-border country

The Elbe beach at the Wahrenberger ferry landing stage. Photo: Stefan Jansen
Water violet blossom in the Salzwedel city forest. Photo: Dieter Leupold
Inland dunes at the Wirler-Spitze, north of Lake Arendsee. Photo: Dieter Leupold

The model region of Elbe-Altmark-Wendland in the quadripoint country stretches from the floodplain of the river Elbe in the north to Salzwedel in the south. The visitor is invited to experience the Green Belt here as a "blue miracle": The former border river, the Elbe, dominates the landscape. The white stork lives here in large numbers by the big river, and rare species, such as white-tailed eagles, black storks and European otters inhabit the river banks, wet meadows and the remains of floodplain forests. Even in winter, the floodplain is full of life: cranes, northern geese and swans are guests and can be observed close up in their winter habitats. If you want to find out more about the history of the river landscape, you should visit the castle Lenzen. The over 1000-year-old castle buildings are today open to guests as a modern conference and visitor centre.

The southern border of this model region is taken up by the Hanseatic city of Salzwedel. Right in front of the gates to the city, the visitor can have a unique natural experience: the Salzwedel city forest is one of the largest bog-alder forests in Germany, a home to many rare species. One section of this primeval forest has been opened up via a raised wooden path. In the bordering Landgraben Dumme lowland, with its mosaic of close-to-nature watercourses, wet meadows and deciduous forests rich in species, the BUND has for many years been busy buying land so that this unique natural expanse on the Green Belt can be preserved.

The Green Belt is characterised by quite different habitats to the north of lake Arendsee: Here you will find heathland and dry grassland, as well as open inland dunes. This is the habitat of thermophilic insect species such as the blue-winged grasshopper or the European nightjar, a rare bird species.