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Dunes in the nature reserve “Talsperre Thülsfeld“

Blick in die Nadelbäume

The site was covered with trees before the implementation of the action started © Thomas Kutter, NLWKN

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The nature reserve around the Thülsfeld dam in the district of Cloppenburg was already declared protected in 1937. It has extensive areas of sand heaths in a mosaic of different habitat types. The heathlands west of the dam were reported to the European Union together with the reservoir and the surrounding forests as protected habitats of European importance according to the Habitat Directive in 1999 (‘Heiden und Moore an der Talsperre Thülsfeld’, SAC DE-3013-301) by the state of Lower Saxony. During breeding season, migration and rest period, a variety of waterfowl is found in the area. The strictly protected sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) also feels well in the areas with inland dunes and heathland.

The conservation status of the dune habitats (especially habitat type 2330: inland dunes with open grasslands) had been increasingly devalued in recent years due to the growth of pines and birches as well as the accumulation of humus. Due to the associated loss of open sand areas and the lower connectivity of the habitats, the conservation status of the lizard (Lacerta agilis) in this area also deteriorated.

Therefore, the measures implemented within the framework of the LIFE IP Atlantic Region DE from September to the end of December 2018 were aimed at the restoration of the heathland and upgrading of the habitat for the sand lizard. Overall, an area of almost nine hectares was processed. Sods from the heathland were partially dug or deeply mowed and young woods were removed. As a special highlight, a sand dune was cleared on an area of about 1.8 hectares and newly developed as habitat type 2330. Larger trees were removed. Some stumps remained in the area as quarters for reptiles. In some areas, the immature soil was then removed and the material was disposed of professionally. The processed areas become part of an already existing grazing.

The implementation of this action took place within the framework of the sustainable development of the protected area and was actively supported by the Lower Nature Conservation Authority of the District of Cloppenburg and the NLWKN maintenance facility ‘Thülsfelder Talsperre’. Planning and local construction supervision were carried out by the NLWKN Oldenburg branch.

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