Project Partners



The project area is located in Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the districts of Freudenstadt and the Ortenau. A sandstone plateau of 30 km length stretches from Baden-Baden to Freudenstadt at an altitude ranging from 900 to 1160 m above sea level. It is characterized by a mosaic of active raised bogs, mountain heath ("Grinden") and near-natural forests.

According to appendix I of the FFH-classification the project area encompasses twelve different habitats, some of which are considered top priority: "active raised bogs", "bog woodland" and "Nardus-grasslands on siliceus substrates". In terms of area the "mountain heath" is the most important. In addition, there are local "acidophilous forests" and "beech forests".

Several species of plants and animals living in the area are in need of special protection from a superregional and regional perspective. According to the Wild Birds Directive, particular bird species like Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia), Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passeri¬num), Tengmalm´s Owl (Aegolius funereus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) and Three-toed Wood¬pecker (Picoides tridactylus) are of common interest. Mountain heath and active raised bogs on the plateaus are also important resting and feeding areas for migrating birds, e. g. Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) and Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra).

The mostly treeless "mountain heaths" and "Nardus-grasslands" are remnants of an old cultural landscape, created by centuries of grazing. Today these areas with their attractive landscape play an important role for tourism. However, since the end of the pastural use of the "mountain heath" in the middle of the last century these habitats are endangered by species impoverishment and reforestation.

The aim of this project is to preserve, optimize and connect the various habitats of the "Grindenschwarzwald". To achieve this goal cooperation of nature conservancy, forestry, agriculture and tourism will be improved.

Conservation measures of particular interest are:

  • improvement of conservation status of active raised bogs by guidance of visitors
  • enlargement and improvement of the mountain heath and Nardus grasslands by grazing
  • support of endangered bird species especially Capercaillie and Hazel Hen
  • sensitization of visitors to the aims of nature protection by public education
  • information about the LIFE-project and LIFE-program of the EU.

Commission reference: LIFE 00 NAT / D / 7039

Duration: 01 Jan 2001 to 31 Dec 2004

Bezirksstelle für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege (BNL)
Kriegsstrasse 5a
76137 Karlsruhe

Project Leader: Daniel Brandt, BNL


  • Bezirksstelle für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege, Freiburg
  • Landesforstverwaltung of Baden – Württemberg represented by the „Forstdirektion Freiburg“
  • Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg
  • Foundation „Nature Conservation Center Ruhestein im Schwarzwald“

Dr. Daniel Brandt