The primeval forests of tomorrow are emerging on former military training areas belonging to the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation. Tanks and practice ammunition have left their marks on the glacier-sculpted sandy landscapes, but nature is reclaiming its territory.

Where soldiers once practiced, a pioneer forest of birch, pine, and black locust trees is now growing on the 13,600 hectares belonging to the Foundation. Single-species pine forests are becoming mixed forests, and formerly drained mires are being re-naturalized. This creates habitats for a variety of species. White-tailed eagles and cranes are breeding here, and species that once lived here are returning, such as otters, beavers, and even wolves.

FZS co-founded the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation and is one of its most important partners. We support them in giving wilderness in Brandenburg a chance to reclaim the land, watching with interest to see what develops. Our common goal is to make wilderness tangible on the foundation’s sites, to observe natural processes and learn from them, to create valuable habitats, and to leave behind an important natural heritage for future generations.

Quick Facts

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Our work in Brandenburg

Community work

The Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation and FZS are working with local authorities and districts, to ensure that new sources of income are created for people living in the region, primarily through well-planned, ecosystem-sensitive tourism.

Under the umbrella of “Naturwelt Lieberoser Heide – das wilde Herz der Lausitz” (Natural world Lieberose’s heath – the wild heart of Lusatia), visitors are informed about the unique wilderness areas and invited to visit and experience the heath in Lieberose.

Developing protected areas

Piece by piece the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation is gradually expanding its wilderness areas by purchasing additional land. It receives financial support from FZS and other organizations for this activity. The foundation looks after the acquired areas permanently, to protect them from disturbances such as motocross riders. In line with the wilderness approach, nature is essentially left to its own devices. However, in order to prevent the mires on the foundation’s land from drying out, and to preserve them as valuable habitats, they are re-naturalized.

Public outreach

Regular events and guided excursions take place here. Nature experience and wilderness trails as well as a nature experience station at the former General’s Hill in Lieberose are currently under construction.

Ecosystem monitoring

As part of an extensive research and monitoring program, the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation is investigating these and other questions:

  • How do the virgin forests of tomorrow grow on land disturbed by tanks and ammunition?
  • Which species live in the areas?
  • Which typical species are returning to these areas?
  • How do forests develop after fires?

Milestones

Acquisition of 852 hectares in Heidehof (Eichberg areas).

2016

The 15th anniversary of the Foundation is celebrated through a Wilderness Conference, sponsored by Federal Environment Minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks.

2015

First wolf offspring born on the Foundation’s land: Jüterbog and Lieberose.

2011

For the first time after 100+ years, wolves are seen on the Foundation’s land.

2009

The Foundation takes over 882 hectares of land on the former military training area Heidehof. Also, the official opening of the Lieberose field office.

2007

The Foundation takes over 2,095 hectares on the former military training area Lieberose.

2006

The Foundation obtains a further 2,300 hectares on the former military training area Jüterbog.

2003

The transfer of 830 hectares on the former military training area Jüterbog to the foundation through an endowment by the Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung association.

2002

Usufruct agreement created with NABU for 1,080 hectares of land on the former military training area, Lieberose.

2002

The state of Brandenburg, FZS, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union of Germany, WWF, the regionally active Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung association, and a private individual establish the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation.

2000

The Foundation takes over 3,756 hectares of land on the former military training area, Jüterbog.

2000

Withdrawal of Soviet troops from Brandenburg – large-scale military training areas become available after 100+ years of military use.

1994

Partner

  • Stiftung Naturlandschaften Brandenburg

“Where for decades the military had been training, virgin forests of tomorrow are being created. This is a unique development for Germany.”

Michael Brombacher, Head of FZS Europe department

Contact

Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt von 1858 e.V.
Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1
60316 Frankfurt

Telephone: +49 (0)69 - 94 34 46 0
Fax: +49 (0)69 - 43 93 48
E-Mail

You will find our office in the Zoogesellschaftshaus (4th floor).
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