LIFE+ project report "Bogs, flowing waters and nardus grasslands" at the Bavarian Forest National Park


Logo des Life+ Projekts derr Europäschen Kommision
Logo von Natura 2000
Logo des Bayerischen Naturschutzfonds


Project finished:

Bog eye surrounded by trees and dead wood

Review of the Live + project in the Bavarian Forest National Park..

The LIFE+ project "Bogs, flowing waters and nardus grasslands” at the Bavarian Forest National Park has been completed and ended with an closing event at the Forest History Museum St. Oswald. The report about the project provides information on the achieved results


The Bavarian Forest National Park is not only protected as a national park but also as a Natura 2000 site, making it a part of a Europe wide network of protected areas. The EU member states have the responsibility to maintain and improve sites of natural significance.

Auch im Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald haben menschliche Nutzungen aus der Vergangenheit ihre Spuren hinterlassen: Moore wurden entwässert, um die Standorte forstwirtschaftlich nutzen zu können. Bäche wurden zum Zweck der Holztrift begradigt und die Ufer befestigt – aber auch moderner Straßenbau trägt zur Beeinträchtigung der Fließgewässer bei. Bei den sogenannten Schachten, ehemaligen Bergweiden, wirkt sich dagegen die Nutzungsaufgabe nachteilig aus: Nachdem diese „Inseln im Waldmeer“ seit den 1960er Jahren nicht mehr bewirtschaftet wurden, verschwand ohne den Einfluss der Rinder ein Teil der einst bemerkenswerten Artenvielfalt.

Project goals:

Placeholder image for the Life + project

The LIFE + project in the Bavarian Forest National Park breathes life into special habitats again.

Pebbles in a stream

Water meanders through the Bavarian Forest National Park in stream beds for over 700 kilometers.

The goal of this LIFE+ project is to improve the conservation status of three particular habitats – moors, flowing waters and “Schachten”. By re-naturalizing dried out raised bogs and peatland forests the natural water balance will be restored, allowing habitats to resume their natural functioning. Highly specialized animal and plant species such as the round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), will benefit from these improvements. A further goal is to restore the natural dynamics and consistency of flowing waters. Stream inhabitants such as the protected European bullhead (Cottus gobio) should benefit from the improved habitat structure. To maintain the species rich nardus grasslands, a grazing scheme using a threatened breed of cattle “Rotes Höhenvieh” will be piloted. The project’s target species include rarities; arnica (Arnica montana), wart-biter (Decticus verrucivorus) and purple-edged copper (Lycaena hippothoe). An extensive public relations scheme will increase the public’s knowledge and acceptance of Natura 2000.


Moor re-naturalization is not an easy undertaking – the most important factor for success is the restoration a high water level: drainage channels will be blocked by constructing dams and filling ditches. Furthermore, tree species untypical for moor areas will be removed. After these restoration measures, a period of time must follow to allow the wounds to heal and turf mosses and other typical moor inhabitants to colonize. The process of regeneration will be monitored with water level measurements and vegetation surveys. Different methods will be employed for the re-naturalization of watercourse habitats, for example: the river bank constructions will be partially removed so that water will form its own flow once more. Artificial piping will be redesigned to allow aquatic organisms to travel unimpeded through critical passages. Electrofishing will be conducted to document changes in the fish communities. The pilot grazing scheme at the Ruckowitzschachten will also be intensively monitored in a scientific method. On this basis the project will produce management recommendations, namely: which grazing management, i.e. herd size, time period and intensity, best fosters the species diversity on the schachten?


  • LIFE+ (EU funding instrument for the environment – 50 %)
  • Bavarian Nature Conservation Fund (30 %)
  • Bavarian Forest National Park administration (20 %)

Contact person:

Jochen Linner
Project coordinator

Claudia Schmidt
Project supervision



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