New oases of wilderness
“Wherever we utilise nature, we must manage it wisely. In addition, we need to secure areas where we allow nature to run its own course without expecting material profits. To practice conservation and sustainability – these are the two principles that guide the actions of my foundation.” – Michael Succow
In 2005 the German Government decided to transfer as many as 125,000 hectares of protected areas as ”National Natural Heritage“ to the federal states, foundations and associations. The majority of National Natural Heritage Sites (c. 46,000 hectares) will be taken over by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment, DBU). The Michael Succow Foundation receives a total of c. 350 hectares in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg.
In August 2011, the contract for 57 hectares at the Bolzer Lake and a forest near Wasdow was notarized. Wasdow Forest, a beech forest with interspersed spruces, is one of the lesser spotted eagle’s valuable breeding habitats in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. During the coming years, the spruces will be removed to a large extent, so that a natural broad-leaf forest can quickly develop. Apart from that, the forest is not used and can thus develop into wilderness. The Bolzer Lake is situated in a terminal moraine landscape, deeply immersed, and represents a former system of blind drainage. Most of the area overtaken by the Michael Succow Foundation contains beech-rich mixed forest with small grassland spaces. The foundation’s goal is to restore the former blind drainage system. That means that the artificially constructed drainage above ground is to be completely stopped.
In October 2011, the foundation overtook further 176 hectares. They are situated mainly on southern Ruegen Island (Palmer Ort, Schoritzer Wiek, Dumsewitz), but also on the mainland (Mannhagener Moor, Melow, Binsenberg). For these areas, the foundation has already started to plan renaturation measures as well.
Taking over areas of the National Natural Heritage will be completed for now with areas in Brandenburg. About 280 hectares are designated here, partly located at the Bollwinfließ where they complete already existing foundation property. There, the foundation currently undertakes renaturation measures to restore a growing brown moss peatland. The largest part of areas in Brandenburg is situated in the Sernitz valley. Together with the state of Brandenburg, a large-scale restoration project is currently prepared. One of the main goals is to improve living conditions for lesser-spotted eagle and corn crake.
There has already been a close co-operation with the Nature Conservation Alliance (NABU) of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania during several practical projects in the new areas.
Stefan Schwill, email: stefan.schwill(at)succow-stiftung.de