Frequently asked questions about the VNP
What does the abbreviation VNP stand for?
VNP = Verein Naturschutzpark Lüneburger Heide. The abbreviation includes both the association and the foundation Naturschutzpark Lüneburger Heide.
What are the activities of the VNP?
The VNP maintains and protects the areas owned by the foundation to preserve species and nature and to safeguard the historical cultural landscape. The association maintains cultural-historical buildings and is farming on its landscape conservation farm according to biological guidelines.
When was the VNP founded?
In 1909 the association was founded in Munich. This makes the VNP one of the oldest nature conservation organisations in Germany. Learn more about the history of the VNP
The goal was and is to protect and maintain impressive landscapes worthy of protection with their flora and fauna. The foundation of the nature reserve emerged from the association in 2002.
Does the VNP only own property in the Lueneburg Heath?
Since 1913, the VNP has owned 3,500 hectares of property in the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria; in 2016, these areas were sold to the Salzburg National Park Fund.
Other areas owned by the foundation are in Brandenburg and in the Riensheide near Neuenkirchen. In the Lueneburg Heath nature reserve, the VNP manages approximately 9,000 hectares.
What makes the VNP unique?
“Protection and conservation of the landscape as a whole”: The historic cultural landscape is preserved with all its facets – landscape, houses and farm buildings, old varieties of cereals and other crops, historic agriculture, traditional sheep herding, flora and fauna of the open landscape and forest-heath transition areas, landscape elements, historic forms of forest use such as silvopasture and Stühbüsche.
How does the VNP promote the marketing of regional products?
The VNP operates two hotels including restaurants at Tütsberg (“Hotel Hof Tütsberg”) and in the village of Niederhaverbeck (“Landhaus Haverbeckhof”).
In addition, there is a self-service restaurant in Wilsede (“Milchhalle”) as well as a café in the Heide-ErlebnisZentrum in Undeloh. Regional products, mostly from the farm’s own production, are offered here: Heidschnucke, Heidegeiss (goat), buckwheat flour, game, apple juice and much more.
Where does the mouse not bite off a thread?
This question can be answered at the heath museum “Dat ole Huus” in Wilsede. Here you can experience first-hand the former life of a typical Heath farming family.
Which hiking trails does the VNP recommend?
There are about 700 km of hiking and cycling trails in the Lüneburg Heath. Among the best-known hiking trails are: the Heidschnuckenweg, the Heideschleifen and the Pastor-Bode-Weg.
How can I get actively involved with the VNP?
Become a member of the association or support the preservation of the cultural landscape with a donation. Become a sponsor of heath sheep, buy a moor protection or black grouse protection share, or support specific projects.
For young people (16 – 27 years), the VNP offers recognised FÖJ (Voluntary Ecological Year) and FSJ (Voluntary Social Year) positions.
Frequently asked questions about the Lueneburg Heath
What biotope complexes are there in the Lueneburg Heath nature reserve?
Woodland, heath, moorland, grassland and arable land.
Why does heather grow on particularly nutrient-poor soils?
This is not correct. Heather grows better on more nutrient-rich soils without competition from other species than on nutrient-poor soils, but on more nutrient-rich soils it is displaced by other species.
What are the different types of heather in the nature reserve?
Broom heather (Calluna vulgaris), cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) and bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia).
What are the Heidschnucken needed for?
Through browsing, the heath is rejuvenated and unwanted, growing pines and birches are kept small. Heidschnucken also destroy the many cobwebs between the plants and thus help the bees and heath beekeepers. Moreover, the keeping of Heidschnucken also promotes the preservation of a rare breed of livestock.
Are there native species that can be found exclusively on the heath?
Yes, but these species are so specialised that only experts know about them: For example, the moth species “Heidekrautglattrückeneule” (Aporophya lueneburgensis) or the beetle species “Heidekrautsteppenrüssler” (Coniocleonus nebulosus).
What is the highest elevation in the Lueneburg Heath?
The “Wilseder Berg” is the highest point in the heath at 169.2 metres.
How does the climate and vegetation differ north and south of the mountain range with the “Wilseder Berg”?
The annual average precipitation is about 1,000 mm on the north side and about 400 mm on the south side. This results in a difference in vegetation – the northern side is dominated by blueberry bushes, whereas broom heather dominates the landscape on the southern side.