Atmospheric landscapes and four-legged landscape conservationists

An important component of the landscape of the Südheide nature park for recreation seekers and nature conservation is the heathland. This is the remains of a formerly vast heath area between Lüneburg and Celle and relics of an earlier heath peasant economy, and therefore of historico-cultural importance.
For this reason the Administrative District of Celle has for decades been endeavouring to preserve and develop typical examples of this landscape and has leased or purchased more than 525 hectares of heathland. Almost all these areas have meanwhile been safeguarded as a nature reserve or as part of the European Natura 2000 protected area network.
The heather is a special attraction for visitors in August when it blooms in all its glory and shines in purple colours. But the sand heath and dry heath also provide atmospheric landscape experiences at all other times of the year, one example being the Wacholder Wald near Schmarbeck with its hoary, gnarled juniper trees which have an almost ghostly effect in the autumn fog. You will find more heathland on the Haußelberg.
With its extensive heathland it offers a splendid view during fine weather. A very popular excursion destination is the Lönsstein on the Wietzer Berg near Müden/Örtze. The stone was erected in the middle of park-like heathland in memory of the favourite haunt of the poet Hermann Löns. You will find the largest contiguous areas of heathland around Oberohe on the unique “Kieselgur“ circular hiking trail and in the Tiefental near Hermannsburg.

Nibbling sheep

Did you know that heathland sheep are gourmets? Their food is a mixture of grass, wild herbs and heather. In German they are called "Heidschnucken", which is derived from the term "schnökern“, or nibbling.

The heathland sheep is an old breed of sheep said to descend from the mouflons living on Sardinia and Corsica. In the Südheide nature park are three flocks of these sheep which look after and conserve the heathland. Some of the flocks are still tended in the traditional way all year round. This means that the sheep set out into the heath with the shepherd every day and cover up to 10 kilometres a day.

Although the task of the sheep was once to provide the heath farmers with wool and fertilizer, they are nowadays kept above all as ”four-legged landscape conservationists”.


Lüneburger Heide GmbH