Improving and securing the Natura 2000 area “Elbe Floodplains at Dessau-Wörlitz”

“Elbe floodplains at Vockerode“

Main objective:
The Elbe project near Vockerode sets out to create a framework for improving and securing a unique river landscape in the region of the Middle Elbe over the long term (Nature 2000 Habitat 4140-304).
The project combines ecological-nature conservation aspects (with the aim of sustainable river area development and floodplain dynamics) with flood management.

Data and facts:
Project executing organisation:
WWF Germany

WWF Freshwater Department
LIFE+ Project Office “Elbe Floodplains atVockerode“ in Dessau

Duration of the project:
January 2010 to December 2018

Planned project budget:
2.2 M € (50% EU funds, 37% WWF, 11% LHW, 2% Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve)
Other project partners:
Saxony-Anhalt State Administration Office (Department 410 Large-scale Conservation Areas), Dessau-Wörlitz Cultural Foundation, Landgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, District of Wittenberg, Municipality of Vockerode, Wörlitz Farmers’ Cooperative, the City of Dessau-Rosslau

The project measures promote the self-perpetuating development of the region as a whole. They also improve and secure a unique river landscape and the ecological state of the water course. Moving back the dyke will create an additional retention space of 210 hectares and will improve the area thanks to the preventative ecological flood protection structures.
Integrating dyke planning into the project management opens up the possibility of having an early impact on the approval process. In doing so the experience gained by the project executing organisation of moving back the dyke in Lödderitzer Forest can also be incorporated into public relations work and the implementation of the nature conservation measures. 
Measures include:

  • Development of planning documents as a framework for moving back dykes (relevant for environmental impact study, landscape conservation plan, Natura 2000 habitat impact assessment)
  • Acquisition of 60 hectares of farmland
  • Transformation of farmland into species-rich grasslands
  • Reforestation and structuring of forest edges
  • Reconstructive measures for forests with non-native forest stands
  • Improvement of mono-structured, non-diverse forest stands by introducing a substructure of ecologically valuable and rare native tree species
  • Creation of wet biotopes
  • Selected deepening of a silted up branch of the Elbe
  • Establishment of a floodplain nature trail and development of informational material

For more information about the project please go to:

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