Wild Germany

Wilderness Protection in Germany – Abandonment of Land Use

Within Germany, the Michael Succow Foundation places special emphasis on the protection of wilderness areas and their inherent biological diversity. At least in Western Europe, the conscious abandonment of land use is a relatively new strategy in nature conservation that deeply affects human consciousness. In this area, much work still needs to be done in Germany.

In order to achieve this goal, the foundation takes over areas where nature is allowed space and time to unfold according to its own laws. These natural areas offer ecological services that are indispensable for a stable ecological balance and ultimately the continued existence of human civilisation. These services include humus build-up in aging forests and the formation of groundwater and CO2 sequestration in growing peatlands.

The initial three wilderness areas owned by the foundation are the nature conservation areas (NSG) Goor on the island of Rügen, Lanken near Greifswald (both in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) and parts of the NSG Großer Gollinsee & Bollwinwiesen within the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (in the state of Brandenburg).

More than 200 hectares have been set aside so far to allow the future growth of pristine forests, the undisturbed development of peatlands once their natural water household has been restored, and the re-establishment of many species of animals and plants that depend on wilderness structures. 
But our new awareness should not only include the permissibility of wilderness development, we must also become aware of the need for a sustainable ecological balance in these new areas. To this end we offer special nature trails in our conservation areas that aim to educate visitors about the importance of wilderness and sustainability.


1,000 hectares of Wilderness – Promotion and Experience

The creation of parcels of 1,000 hectares where nature’s own dynamic processes are allowed to run their course – this is our goal for the next few years. We strive towards the establishment and preservation of a network of foundation-owned wilderness areas in combination with other, mostly undisturbed habitats.
Currently, our foundation is in the process of acquiring new land in outstanding natural areas in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. We are taking over selected sites within Natural Heritage Areas. These include remote coastal areas, old forests, peatlands, lakes and historical pasture lands.
The sustainable development and maintenance of these areas according to our motto “preserve and sustain“ requires not only tireless volunteer work but also encouragement and recognition, friends and companions and, last not least, financial support. 


You can help to realise the “Wilderness Vision“ with your support. We appreciate your encouragement and financial contribution – it helps to secure, preserve and sustain outstanding natural areas.