Nature - Landscape - Culture Landscape

The biosphere reserve (BR) Bliesgau lies in the south-east corner of the Saarland, directly on the borders to France and Rhineland-Palatinate. It encompasses an area of around 36,000 ha, the shell-limestone landscapes of the Bliesgau and the Westrichs, the transitional zones between shell limestone and variegated sandstone and the adjoining forest areas of the St. Ingbert-Kirkeler forest and the St. Ingberter basin in upper and middle variegated sandstone. Defining elements of the area are, for example, the types of biotope and habitat of the semi-arid limestone terrain, the sage oat grass meadows, the orchard meadows and the nearly pristine forests, which are all especially valued by conservation experts.

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Reinheim                                                                       Field of poppies

One special characteristic of the BR Bliesgau is the variety of the landscape in which macro- and micro-habitats exist side-by-side and merge with each other, a result of millennia of human use. It contains the entire spectrum of the cultural landscape, the habitats characteristic of urban regions of dense population (and St. Ingbert, which at one time was strongly shaped by industry) as well as habitats in rural areas in the forest and open, undeveloped land.
In the areas of the BR Bliesgau one finds the greatest density in the Saarland of species and habitats that are of European, national and federal-state significance. Owing to the strong worthiness for protection of the region’s natural treasures, most of the NATURA 2000-areas registered by the Saarland – with respect to their natural space– are located here.