Life+ Möhneaue - Restoration and improvement of the SCI "Möhne Oberlauf" and the SCI "Möhne Mittellauf"

LIFE08 NAT/D/000009

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Stephanie TERREN
Fax: +49 2921 302394
Email: stephanie.terren@kreis-soest.de

Project description:


Hydraulic engineering actions in the Möhne valley over previous centuries have had a negative impact on both the river and its floodplain, leading to a reduction of river length by up to 30%. This reduction subsequently led to erosion and eventually to fewer of the floods that enaturally occur in a floodplain. Much of the land within the floodplain has been planted with Norway spruce (Picea abies), which has had an adverse impact on the habitats and species that naturally occur in a floodplain. The “Möhne Oberlauf” SCI is also negatively impacted by a abandonment of land use within the floodplain: farming is no longer profitable in this area. Re-instating a conservation-oriented land use is thus a key aim of the project, through the establishment of species-rich pastures and meadows. The “Möhne Mittellauf” SCI is mainly characterised by grassland but this is mostly cultivated intensively. This leads to inputs of fertiliser and pesticides into the river as well as the need to maintain the structurally degraded status of the river.


The project aims to restore and improve the natural dynamics and structural diversity of the Möhne valley. This will improve the status of a number of floodplain habitats listed in the Habitats Directive, including the priority habitat 'Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior'. The works should also aid the conservation status of species such as the brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri), bullhead (Cottus gobius) and kingfisher (Alcedo atthis); and also black stork (Ciconia nigra) which is dependent on structurally diverse floodplains as a feeding habitat.

Expected results:

  • Restoration of the indigenous woods and wet habitats of the floodplain and valley (to be achieved by eliminating Norway spruce and re-establishing the water levels through the re-naturalization of the river’s profile; the removal of an artificial embankment; the creation of pools and floodways; and wetland restoration through closure of drainage channels as well as the removal or reconfiguration of weirs);
  • Encourage less intensive agricultural land use and practices within the floodplain, leading to the development, in parts, of the hay meadow habitat;
  • Expansion of the “Möhne Mittellauf” SCI: The site consists of five distinct sub-sites, one of which includes fairly large areas of arable land. These plots are difficult to obtain for any nature conservation measures. Nevertheless, to be able to significantly improve the status of this SCI an expansion on the east side of this sub-site is planned. The regional agricultural institutions have confirmed the feasibility of this expansion. Within the expansion area the above mentioned objectives and their positive impacts on the respective habitats and species are also applicable. This expansion area will be designated as a Natura 2000 area before the end of the project;
  • Improvement of passages for fish: There are a number of different weirs – or in one case a box culvert acting as a weir – which prevent or obstruct fish migration. The project aims to improve or, if possible, to even fully restore fish passage at each of these constructions.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Forests


forest ecosystem‚  introduction of animal species‚  introduction of plant species‚  river‚  biodiversity‚  restoration measure‚  population dynamics

Target species

 Cottus gobio   Lampetra planeri   

Target Habitat types

  • 3260 - Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
  • 6510 - "Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis)"
  • 9160 - Sub-Atlantic and medio-European oak or oak-hornbeam forests of the Carpinion betuli
  • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"

Natura 2000 sites

SCI DE4515304 Möhne Mittellauf
SCI DE4516302 Möhne Oberlauf



Coordinator Kreis Soest
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The District of Soest has a population of more than 300 000 and includes 14 towns and communities where agriculture is the main activity. The District authority has designated 87 nature conservation areas, covering 9% of the district area.
Partners Hochsauerlandkreis, Germany Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biologischer Umweltschutz im Kreis Soest e.V., Germany Landschaftsinformationszentrum Wasser und Wald Möhnesee e.V., Germany Naturschutzzentrum/Biologische Station Hochsauerlandkreis e.V., Germany


Project reference LIFE08 NAT/D/000009
Duration 01-JAN-2010 to 31-AUG -2016
Total budget 2,896,347.00 €
EU contribution 1,448,174.00 €
Project location Nordrhein-Westfalen(Deutschland)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: Pedagogical tool "Mit Mo durch die Möhne und Ihre Auen- Eine Wasser ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version