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State Secretary Frank Doods appreciates the LIFE IP Atlantic Region DE

State Secretary Frank Doods appreciates the LIFE IP Atlantic Region DE © Leonie Braasch, NLWKN

State secretary Frank Doods from the ministry of environment in lower saxony visited the LIPE IP „Atlantic region de“

In the best summer weather, State Secretary Frank Doods paid a visit to the LIFE Integrated Project Atlantic Region DE in Lower Saxony on 22 July 2021 to get himself informed of the project.

On the idyllically situated grounds of the ‘Walderlebnis Ehrhorn’ of the Lower Saxony Forestry Office Sellhorn in the Lüneburg Heath nature reserve, a small Corona-compliant ceremony was held in the open at the beginning. State Secretary Doods appreciated the work of the project staff and what has been achieved so far, but also made clear that there is still a lot of work ahead of the federal states in implementing the Habitats Directive. Lower Saxony has made enormous progress in recent years with the protection status of the Special Areas for Conservation. "However, a decree alone does little to help the species and biotopes. It is also important to define conservation and development measures for the individual SAC - and then to implement them in practice."

Berthold Paterak, Deputy Director of the NLWKN, was therefore very pleased that the NLWKN has already implemented around 70 measures in Lower Saxony since the start of the project in 2016, nine of which are located in the Lüneburg Heath alone. He emphasized that the success was due not least to the close cooperation between the project staff and the local partners. These are the ‘local caretakers’ who feel connected to their areas.

Together with other guests, State Secretary Doods first visited the area ‘Ziegenbergdüne’, where areas have been cut back and sods have been removed in the framework of the LIFE IP. Oliver Richter, forest official for forest ecology and nature conservation at the Lower Saxony State Forests, provided information on the various inland dune renaturations at the State Forests within the framework of the LIFE IP and on the challenges of keeping the dunes permanently open in the forest.

After a lunch break at the ‘Walderlebnis Ehrhorn’, where regionally produced German moorland sheep was offered, the journey continued to the pond area ‘Holmer Teiche’, which is managed by the ‘Verein Naturschutzpark Lüneburger Heide’ (VNP). Last year, a dam broke here, threatening the valuable ground vegetation and spawning waters of the spadefoot toad. Via the LIFE IP Atlantic Region DE this had been repaired ten new monks had been purchased to restore the water management. After Dirk Mertens from the VNP informed about the species richness, but also about the problems of extensive carp pond management, there was a closing coffee break in the area.

We would like to thank State Secretary Doods and our local partners for their visit and especially the Sellhorn Forestry Office and the VNP for their hospitality.

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