Bavarian Forest
National Park

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Renaturation of a stream (Photo: Hußlein)

In contrast to many other areas in central Europe the forests of the national park are, as a result of their relatively short usage history, still in a relatively near natural state. The forests were nonetheless affected by the establishment of forestry infrastructure (forest roads, facilities for timber transportation, bridges, paths for towing, hunting facilities, farm buildings etc.) during the times when it was exploited commercially. In addition, sensitive habitats such as mires and streams were also altered significantly in places.

According to the aims of the national park the results of these earlier interventions should be removed through active measures, when

- conditions unsatisfactory from a nature conservation point of view have arisen, and
- a natural development (self-healing) back to the original conditions is not or is only to be expected over a very long timeframe, or
- the poor condition of the building (disrepair) means there are dangers for people and/or adverse effects for the environment.

The aim of renaturation is to generate with minimal intervention an initial spark, which leads in a natural way to the gradual convergence with the original conditions of the habitat.

40 years of renaturation in the national park – a balance

Building demolition:

35 game feed barns, 23 game feed cellars, 27 silos, 13 foresters‘ huts, 16 tool sheds, 10 customs huts, 2 residential properties, 4 explosives bunkers, 21 other buildings.

Mire renaturation:

approx 117 hectares

Demolition of forest roads:

Closure / Opening of streams 34km, renovation to footpath or trail paths 28km, complete renaturation 73km

Renaturation of streams:

Partial measures on the following main streams and their tributaries: Gr. Deffernik, Schmalzbach, Gr. Höllbach, Kolbersbach, Schleicherbach, Waldhüttenbach, Föhraubach, Seebach, Tiefe Seige, Gr. Ohe, Knotenbach, Kl. Ohe, Sagwasser, Steinbach, Reschbach.