The diverse landscapes along the Elbe river offer an ideal habitat for endangered plant and animal species.
The Elbe Valley Lower Saxony biosphere reserve came about in 2002 as part of the “Flusslandschaft Elbe” biosphere reserve, which stretches across state boundaries and is recognised by UNESCO.
The landscape is shaped by the source of the river, and is incredibly diverse. The Elbe plains flood regularly. A dyke, with long-distance cycle paths running along the top, divides the flood plains from other riverside forests and the extensive Elbe marshes. The appearance of the riverbank areas changes constantly: dune fields, pine forests, lush green riverside meadows and mixed woodland.
The diverse landscapes offer an ideal habitat for many endangered plant and animal species. A particularly attractive way to discover the river landscape is from the water – be it with a pleasure steamer, a motor boat, a solar-powered raft or a canoe. All these options are also ideal for getting to know the wide variety of flora and fauna in the Elbe Valley.
For example, you can go on the trail of the Elbe beaver. This icon of the Elbe Valley was long considered extinct in Lower Saxony. In addition, the Elbe Valley is the main home of the common river otter in Lower Saxony. Equipped with binoculars, you can spot thousands of resting geese along the Elbe during the migrating bird season. Another bird is undoubtedly one of the attractions of the region and characterises the look of many a village: the white stork. And the sea eagle beats its wings majestically above it all.
The Elbe Valley biosphere reserve is criss-crossed by many cycle paths, picking up on the theme of the wide variety of domestic species. Examples include the Elberadweg, which has been Germany’s most popular long-distance cycle route for ten years in a row. The region also has plenty to offer walkers. Often even small hills provide stunning views, for example on the Klötzie-Stieg path.
On foot, by boat, by bicycle… the Elbe Valley biosphere reserve is ideal for activities in the great outdoors. The Biosphaerium at Bleckede Castle is the perfect starting or finishing point for any tour of discovery. The information centre for the Elbe Valley Lower Saxony biosphere reserve presents a large number of interesting and interactive exhibits, uses models to explain the ecosystem and educates on the domestic flora and fauna. It also offers the chance to observe beavers and fish live.
The biosphere reserve along the river is surrounded by the Elbhöhen-Wendland nature park.