Nature conservation and recreation

Most of the Natur Park Sudgelande is protected; the core area has been designated as a nature reserve (3.2 ha) and the rest as a landscape conser­vation area (12.9 ha). In the nature reserve, species conservation takes pri­ority. The targeted species are, above all, insects of open habitats and plants of the dry grasslands, such as several rare hawkweed (Hieracium) species. The clearings, which may not be entered by the public, are cared for in such a way as to give the characteristic species of the open landscape a chance to survive. The landscape conservation area is to be fully accessi­ble. Dangerous areas that aren’t visible (e. g. shafts) were secured before the park was opened. The defined rooms are stabilized through mainte­nance measures. In the landscape conservation area, an attractive land­scape image is more the goal than species conservation.

Since its opening in May 2000, the Natur Park Sudgelande has proved to be very attractive to visitors. Estimates start at 50,000 visitors per year. A long-term exhibition on the history and nature of the Sudgelande in one of the old train buildings had approximately 6,000 visitors in 2003.