Wilderness in Germany

  • Discover wilderness in Germany

Wild Germany!?

Germany is a densely populated country, and we lost our pristine natural landscapes, untouched by human beings, a long time ago. But still the country has some unique wild areas to offer. They can be found in mountains, on coastlines or riverine areas, and especially in forests. About one quarter of the world’s common beech forests grow in Germany. It is thus Germany’s international responsibility to preserve this unique forest type. On former military or mining areas wilderness gets a second chance. Wild areas are havens for rare species of animals, plants and mushrooms – but also exciting for us to discover.

What is wilderness?

Wild areas in Germany should have a minimum size of 1,000 hectares (this equals 1,400 soccer fields) and must remain untouched by humans.
In brief: here, nature can take its own course.

The following criteria should be met:

Interventions that are absolutely necessary reduced to a minimum (e.g. due to legal requirements, protection of adjacent cultural landscape, etc.)

In the core zone, nature can take its course – without direct human intervention.

At least 1,000 hectares of continuous core zone available or planned (or 500 hectares for riparian forests, coasts and moors)

Wilderness areas are permanently protected by law (e.g. through designation as a national park or nature reserve).

The criteria represent the common understanding of wilderness of the ‚Wilderness in Germany‘ initiative, which is in line with the definition of wilderness of the ‚Wild Europe initiative‘.

Discover Germany’s wild areas

The benefits of wilderness are countless: biodiversity conservation, climate protection, human recreation and the provision of natural resources like drinking water or clean air – to mention only a few. Keen on learning more? Get inspired by our short movie, find out where Germany’s wild treasures are located
and watch our 360°-video to immerse yourself in Germany’s wild forests.

Target for more wilderness

Wilderness in Germany currently only takes up 0,6 % of the total land. Hence, the country is lagging behind the rest of the world. But the goal is set: The government aims for 2 % wilderness as defined in the ‘National Strategy on Biological Diversity‚.

Current target:

2 %

wilderness on Germany’s land surface by the end of 2020

The „Wilderness in Germany“ initiative

20 German conservation organizations and foundations joined forces and founded the initiative “Wilderness in Germany” – the first coalition of its kind in the field on nature conservation. We support actions on the ground as well as communication activities. Together, we are working for more fascinating large wilderness areas – for us, our children and grandchildren. It is about time.

NABU Stiftung Logo
Naturstiftung David Logo
Logo Heinz Sielmann Stiftung
BBN Logo
Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung Logo

Do you want more wilderness?

The initiative „Wilderness in Germany“ developed materials on how to plan and implement a campaign.

Get started and find out more:

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