Binnensalzstellen Thüringen - Conservation and development of the inland salt marshes of Northern Thuringia
The project aimed at the improvement, enlargement and conservation of the major continental salt marshes in Northern Thuringia and Sachsen-Anhalt in central Germany. Its target was to expand their area to 110 ha of salt marshes. Regaining control over the water regime in the Esperstedter Ried is a central objective for the development of saline habitats of varying humidity and conditions. To do this, ditches have to be cleared and weirs have to be constructed or renovated. The construction of a connecting channel was necessary to enlarge the sites suitable for halophile vegetation. To carry out these technical measures, purchase of land was a necessary preliminary measure. Extensive grassland farming was an aim in the entire project area. For nearly 25% of the project area the conservation prescriptions call for the continuation and expansion of extensive grazing, which, besides the improvement of the continental salt marsh vegetation itself, could also benefit the conservation of the avifauna of managed grassland habitats. To make the local population, tourists and guests of the nearby health resort aware of this very special habitat type, broad dissemination work is planned (e.g. multimedia show, making a film for TV, observation tower, excursions, furnishing an information office).