A regenerated nature reserve in the Teutoburg Forest
Enter the bog – the domain of the flesh-eating plants! The peat bog in the Teutoburg Forest provides some unique experiences. Get close to this natural habitat with a guided tour.
Near Minden in the Teutoburg Forest lies the only natural habitat of its kind in North Rhine-Westphalia: the “Großes Torfmoor” turf bog. Located between Hille and Lübbecke, it is not only the largest remaining area of bogland in the state, but also an extremely important nature reserve. Many rare species of plants and animals have found refuge here since regeneration work commenced in the 1970s.
A scattering of observation towers provide the best views of the romantic landscape with its bog pools, open expanses of water and heathland. From this height, the peaks of the Wiehen Hills can be spotted – and lucky visitors can even catch a glimpse of a stork. The lanky birds raise their chicks in the area around the Großes Torfmoor since they are able to find plenty of food in the sparsely cultivated wetland meadows.
A bog discovery path, guided tours and an exhibition for visitors
Even when there are no storks around, this bogland between the Wiehen Hills and the Mittelland Canal has plenty for visitors to see and do. Highly recommended is the bog discovery path, a roughly three-kilometre-long circular trail which is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Eight stops along the way inform visitors about the co-dependencies in the ecosystem and about the individual plants and animals living in the bog. The impact of man on the landscape rightfully gets a mention too: the bog almost disappeared entirely because of human activity in the form of turf cutting. Extensive drainage works were undertaken from the start of the 20th century to harvest the peat – and when the water disappeared so too did the habitat of many animal and plant species. Four decades of regeneration work has not unfortunately been enough to attract all the flora and fauna back to their former home...
Visitors who would like greater insight into the bog landscape can take a guided tour. The conservation society NABU Minden Lübbecke organises tours for both adults and children. The moonlight tours are a particular highlight for young explorers, who lap up the accompanying tales of vampires, bog bodies and carnivorous plants. The flesh-eaters are among the very few species of plants able to make a home in the acidic, nutrient-poor bog, which also experiences fairly high temperatures in summer due to the lack of tree cover. Anyone keen to experience what the bog feels like can step in to the muddy bog hole after the tour. Some advice before you try it: bring a towel and reckon on a long clean-up afterwards. For the less adventurous, a visit to the exhibition at the NABU Moorhus information centre is well worthwhile. Here, visitors can learn more about the origins and life of the bog through explanations, images, exhibits, videos, audio stories and interactive elements.
1 April to 30 September:
Wednesday - Saturday: 14:00 - 18:00
Sunday and public holidays: 11:00 - 18:00
1 October to 31 March:
Wednesday - Saturday: 14:00 - 17:00
Sunday and public holidays: 11:00 - 17:00