The Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve

 A treasure trove of special species

The Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve lies in the south eastern corner of the Saarland, on the border with France and Rheinland-Palatinate.Das Biosphärenreservat Bliesgau auf der Deutschlandkarte The gentle rolling landscape is shaped by expansive fruit tree orchards, precious beech forests, dry grasslands rich in species and an impressive meadow landscape through which the river Blies, which gives the area its name, flows. The northern region of Bliesgau is an urbanized catchment area with a population density above the German national average; compared to other German biosphere reserves, it is consequently shaped by the presence of cities. The relationship between the city and the country, with all of its facets, influences and changes is therefore an important focus of scientific research in the biosphere reserve. One unique aspect of the region is the diversity of the landscape: Various habitats overlap within a compact space and offer a home to many rare plant and animal species. Bliesgau is home to approximately 80 per-cent of the population of the endangered Little Owls in the Saarland.  Also very much worthy of note are the large and stable populations of the marsh fritillary and the expansive semi-arid limestone grassland on which one can enjoy nearly half of the orchid species that are native to Germany.  In the wild and romantic Blies madow, the attentive visitor can also find beaver tracks, with the species having been reintroduced here again in 1999.

As an area that has long been home to human settlement, Bliesgau also offers many opportunities to discover the traces of Roman and Celtic settlement. The “European Culture Park Bliesbruck-Reinheim” and the Roman Museum in Schwarzenacker both provide a fantastic way to learn more about this topic.

Marsh Fritillary                                                                Sage oat grass meadow                                                                

The charming landscape in the rural south of the region is further enhanced by the medium-sized town of St. Ingbert with its areas of industrial culture and its cultural institutions and events.

The preservation of the traditional cultural landscape and its associated biodiversity is the stated goal of the biosphere reserve. With projects such as the “Bliesgau-Shelf” and “Bliesgau-Apple Juice”, the region aims to profit from what it has to offer. Bliesgau products can already be found in numerous shops and stores in the Saarland and many restaurant chefs insist on regional products. And just to mention while we're here, visitors with an appreciation for good cooking will find things very much to their liking in Bliesgau.

Fruit tree blossom                                                            Apple tree

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