Renaturation Werraaue: Formerly inner-German border becomes green oasis
Species protection, archaeology and warfare exploration – many aspects have to be taken into account in the restoration of the Werraaue. Experts from Tractebel Hydroprojekt accompany the project.
On a section of the "Green Band" near Untersuhl - once within Germany - stream courses Weihe and Rhedengraben get back their original bed. The waters become more diverse, permeable and attractive for the different animal species. The project is a compensatory measure for the construction of the dam Leibis/Lichte in Thuringia.
The aim of the restoration is to create a floodplain landscape with typical watercourses and natural areas. In the future, the rivers should be able to develop in an independent dynamic way and become ecologically permeable again. The planning takes into account the existing protected areas - nature and bird protection as well as fauna-flora habitat (FFH). At the same time, it supports them in their conservation and development objectives.
After about thirteen years of planning, work began on the construction preparation for Tractebel Hydroprojekt: Avoid protective fences, as amphibians reach the construction site. The ground was examined for weapons. A beaver dam was moved, because it was directly in the area of a bridge to be demolished. This is followed by the earthworks quickly. These will be largely completed by the end of February 2021, so that the protected areas can start the new growing season as undisturbed as possible.
During the construction work, in addition to the combat equipment service, archaeologists also keep an eye on the project. In the floodplains and gravel terraces, testimonies from prehistory and early history as well as recent cultural monuments can be expected. On behalf of the Thuringian long-distance water supply, these activities are coordinated on site. The experts of Tractebel Hydroprojekt are available as contact persons for the authorities. The drafts of display boards and a plan for the maintenance of measures are also among the tasks of the water project experts.
In particular they monitor and coordinate during the construction phase:
- Mowing, felling and spading of woods
- Decommissioning and disposal (e.g. sewage pipe, bridge, foundation of border tower)
- Hydraulic engineering works (e.g. gutter laying, new open clot, safety construction)
- Landscaping and topsoil work (e.g. terrain modelling on around 32,000 m², installation secondary floodplain, floodplain, pond field)
- Extensive planting and sowing
Work on the 1.5 kilometre long section of the floodplain landscape is expected to be completed in autumn 2021.