National Park
Western Pommerania Boddenlandscape

Images: Nationalparkamt Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft

Darsser WeststrandWith an area of 118 km ² and a water surface area of 687 km ², the National Boddenlandscape (see map) is one of the few naturally continuous large landscapes of Central Europe. It extends across the Darss, Zingst up to the West Ruegener Coast and includes large areas of the Baltic Sea and Bodden. The national park serves as natural protection and preservation of this landscape with its dunes, spits, beach lakes, wind flats and salty grasslands, their indigenous flora and fauna, the steep and flat coastline with naturally fluctuating topography, the natural forests and the largest crane resting place in Central Europe. Nature can develop freely in these spaces, and its commercial use follows tradition. The towns are not included in the national park. Visitors can experience the park in large parts individually or on guided walks.


The Darss is a jewel of the national park.

The game rich forest is broken into two main areas. The Southern Altdarss and the rest of island’s core, which towers into after the Baltic Sea from the water. It is now mostly covered with pine, and beech stock, where previously they were predominantly covered with oak. The Old Seashore is clearly visible near the Great Star, which marks the transition to the somewhat deeper Neudarss. This geologically much younger area evolved through piling. The north is lined Reffe, former dunechains, and marshes, that run together. The higher Reffe are mostly covered with pine and beech, whereby the marshes are dominated by alder and birch. While the Darss continues to grow through piling several meters annually to the north, there is a noticeable erosion of the western beaches.

The largest forest on the Zingst is the primitive Osterwald, characterized by birch swamp forests and oak-birch forests with old pines, beeches and an undergrowth of holly and moss.
The largest white dunes located on the German Baltic coast are to the east of the Zingst peninsula including The Great Dune of Pramort. Also in the east, the Werder Islands approach the coast. In the fall, tens of thousands of cranes rest in the shallow water areas during the migration period - in addition to countless other shorebirds and waterfowl (about 100 species).

BoddenThe flat waters cut off from the Baltic Sea are called Bodden. Here, there are over 40 different species of fish, including eel, perch and walleye. The wide reedbeds are an ideal habitat for many rare birds, such as warblers and marsh harriers. On coastal bird breeding islands, over 30 endangered species breed in part to call are the redshank, the curlew and the black-tailed godwit. Extensive meadows serves as a necessary habitat for some species.

Barhoeft situated with its long inactive cliff on the mainland side, offers insight into the environmental context between the east of Zingst and the south of the island Hiddensee. Also, the forest-island Bock is included with it’s upstream wind watts.


The west coast of Ruegen

with its natural state, has an ideal character, which is hardly to be found elsewhere. Of the nine smaller islands between Ruegen and Hiddensee, some are regarded as significant coastal bird breeding areas. Most of the ground-nesting birds nest on these islands which offer protection against access of nest predators such as foxes, as well as against the disruptive influences of man. Alone on the island of Heuweise 20-30 breeds of birds nest. During the autumn bird migration, thousands geese and cranes can be observed. They graze on the harvested fields during the day and rest at night in secluded meadows or in quiet shallow bays. A remarkable number of herons and goldeneye ducks winter on Ruegen’s waters. The large inventory of mute swans turns some sections of the Bodden white.

The lagoon shore is marked by large reed beds interspersed with salt marshes. Insects are attracted to the inaccessible reedbed’s reed buntings and warblers. Coot and Mallard breed in the water as it rushes home. Many young fish grow in it’s protection.

As a result of winter flooding and summer grazing cattle along the bay, salt marshes. developed. They represent a rare habitat with endangered plant- life like Saltscale chickweed and samphire represented. Moreover, they are the preferred breeding grounds for wading birds.

The Bow, the large sandy hook of Ruegen was long used by the military. The growing south headland includes forests, dunes and abundant wetlands. Today in the forest created by human cultures, numerous trees have migrated.

The natural features of west Ruegen can also be experienced on guided walks on Ummanz and on the Bow. Various viewing platforms e.g. in Tankow on Ummanz or scattered in Schaprode beckon one to look out into the sea.

Hiddensee is the largest island in the national park.

The highlands of the Dombusch, a glacial land-feature dominates with its lighthouse, the flat landscape to the south and east. Contributed to erosion at the cliff of the Domsbusch and to material transport towards the east, the two sandy hooks of old and new Bessin are growing further and further apart. The bird breeding and bird resting area on the New Bessin can not be accessed, but on the Old Bessin, hikers are welcome. A special experience, a walk through the dunes and heath between Vitte Neuendorf during the late summer, unfolds in its full bloom. The southern tip of the island, the yells, a treeless heath and dune landscape is designated as a special quiet zone. On the adjacent mudflats, thousands shorebirds and waterfowl food can be found.

Contact National Park - Western Pommerania Boddenlandscape
Nationalparkamt Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft
Im Forst 5
18375 Born
Telefon: 038234/502-0
Telefax: 038234/502-24
back to top

Site: National Park - Western Pommerania Boddenlandscape