Bavarian Forest
National Park

print page

Renaturation of forest roads

Renaturation of a forest road  (Photo: Lohberger)

The transport of timber from the innermost parts of the Bavarian Forest was always problematic because of the mountain location. After the river transportation and the construction of the forest railway at the beginning of the 20th century the area was covered systematically with forest roads from the 1960s. With the establishment of the national park and the designation of natural zones large parts of this road network became obsolete.

Forest roads don’t just adversely affect the hydrological balance of the surrounding areas, but also pose an insurmountable obstacle for many species and thereby fragment habitats. At the same time they channel visitors into the area causing disturbances over a large area. They are therefore being removed wherever they are no longer needed.

In the national park the following means of removing roads are practiced:

- Natural transition through abandoning them (small measures where required),
- Return to towpaths or footpaths or
- Renaturation (complete dismantling)

In all options the opening up of previously covered streams plays an important role as it improves their flow and passability.

When undertaking renaturation of forest roads speed is of the essence, especially where fallen dead wood or upcoming growth on the surface can make the the work more expensive or more difficult.