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Münsterland Dülmen Wildpferde Herde, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Tour 1: Wild and lux­uri­ous - the beauty of the Mün­ster­land re­gion


Wild flamin­gos, high­land cattle with their shaggy hair and proud wild horses

The first nature ex­per­i­ence tour leads right through the Mün­ster­land re­gion and makes a brief stop in the Sauer­land area. You?ll meet wild an­im­als and rare plants, hike through moor and heath land­scapes, cross­ing rivers and streams.

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Flamingos im Zwillbrocker Venn, © Biologische Station Zwillbrocker Venn

Del­ic­ate flamin­gos and power­ful high­land cattle


Across heath land­scapes to see wild an­im­als

Any­one think­ing that there are no wild an­im­als in NRW will be shown that the op­pos­ite is true right on the first day of the route through the Mün­ster­land re­gion. Our tour starts in the moors and heath­lands of the Zwill­brock­er Venn. It?s hard to be­lieve, but every year, this nature con­ser­va­tion area at­tracts some very spe­cial trav­el­lers. From March on­wards, flamin­gos spend their sum­mer here in NRW, and feel per­fectly at home between the heath­land flowers and ?Moorsch­nucke? moor­land sheep. Vis­it­ors want­ing to see these col­our­ful birds can do so un­til Au­gust, when they move on to the Neth­er­lands.

The Witte Venn of­fers nature lov­ers the op­por­tun­ity to see very spe­cial an­im­als - al­though a large amount of pa­tience is needed here. With a bit of luck, an­im­al watch­ers wait­ing for a sight­ing between moor frogs and cot­ton grass will see high­land cattle liv­ing in the wild. These shy, shaggy creatures like to hide in the dense forests and dark lakes of the Witte Venn, and meet­ing them is a rare and unique ex­per­i­ence. There is also plenty to dis­cov­er in the moor land­scape for plant en­thu­si­asts: on closer in­spec­tion, rare plants such as the sun­dew can be seen.

With its vi­ol­et sea of heath­land flowers stretch­ing as far as the eye can see, sandy paths and strange-look­ing ju­ni­per groves, the Westruper Heide heath near Hal­tern am See is a pop­u­lar des­tin­a­tion for nature lov­ers, and is the next stop along the route. In Ju­ly and Au­gust, when the heath­land flowers are bloom­ing in their full glory, large num­bers of smooth snakes and wood­larks are to be found here. The area is also home to rare plants such as the ju­ni­per bush and bell heath­er. The per­fect place for long walks along nar­row paths and over small dunes.

www.muen­ster­land-tour­is­mus.de
www.ahaus.de
www.westruper-heide.de

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Wildpferde Dülmen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Wild horses and cul­ture


From a horse pad­dock to ar­is­to­crat­ic gar­dens

On the second day, we con­tin­ue our search for wild an­im­als in NRW. In the Mer­feld­er Bruch nature con­ser­va­tion area near Dül­men, they are easy to find. A huge herd of wild horses stops to rest on the broad mead­ows. Pressed tightly to­geth­er, they nibble each oth­er and shoo away the flies with their bristly tails. These small horses with grey or brown col­our­ing may not be par­tic­u­larly large, but they are ex­tremely ro­bust. They are the only horse breed in Europe that has al­ways lived in the wild. The herd in the Mer­feld­er Bruch con­ser­va­tion area con­sists of about 400 horses. The guided walk with the forest ranger in­side the bar­ri­er is par­tic­u­larly re­com­men­ded. Here, vis­it­ors can get to see the horses right up close, and learn all about these spir­ited creatures.

However, the area is not just home to the horses, but also to fal­low deer, sheep and ?Heidsch­nucke? moor­land sheep. The un­spoilt nature of this con­ser­va­tion area of­fers great op­por­tun­it­ies for long walks. With its moors, heath­land, birch groves and ever­green forests, it of­fers a highly var­ied ex­per­i­ence.

From nature to cul­ture. Not far from the Mer­feld­er Bruch con­ser­va­tion area is the Schloss Nordkirchen palace, which is also known as the ?West­phali­an Ver­sailles?. The elab­or­ately de­signed form­al gar­dens are among the most beau­ti­ful in Europe. At week­ends and on pub­lic hol­i­days, vis­it­ors can view the im­press­ive palace with its splen­did columns and in­tric­ate stucco work as part of a guided tour.

www.duel­men.de | www.muen­ster­land-tour­is­mus.de

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Lippeaue in Hamm im Sauerland, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

A slower pace on the flood plains


On foot, by bike or by boat through the Kloster­mesch nature con­ser­va­tion area

On the third and fi­nal day, the tour leaves Mün­ster­land and takes a short de­tour in­to the Sauer­land re­gion. The flood plains along the river Lippe en­sure that vis­it­ors for­get their of­ten stress­ful every­day lives in this var­ied land­scape. Wheth­er you?re on foot or prefer to re­lax by bike, the Kloster­mesch nature con­ser­va­tion area has paths for both for nature lov­ers. Ob­ser­va­tion huts and view­points of­fer a won­der­ful view out onto stretches of wa­ter, bogs and Taur­us cattle graz­ing on the wide plains. This hab­it­at, where a par­tic­u­larly large num­ber of spe­cies can be found, is also home to an­im­als such as beavers and fish ot­ters along­side the ori­gin­al in­hab­it­ants. Rare birds such as sand mar­tins and king­fish­ers also feel at home here. Par­tic­u­larly highly re­com­men­ded: pad­dling along the Lippe by ca­noe, for vis­it­ors want­ing to en­joy the view of the flood­plains from the river.

 

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    Skulpturen im Park des Wasserschloss Nordkirchen, © Foto Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.
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    Gebietsansicht auf das Zwillbrocker Venn, © Biologische Station Zwillbrock e.V.
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    Menschen auf einer Brücke im Klostermersch, © Antje Zimmermann
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    Schloss Nordkirchen im Münsterland, © Tourismus NRW e.V., Oliver Franke
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    Münsterland Dülmen Wildpferde Herde, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
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    Flamingos im Zwillbrocker Venn, © Biologische Station Zwillbrocker Venn
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