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Restoring military used forests


Detailed description of the Good Practice

Just outside Rostock lies one of the oldest public forests in the country. The tree and heath filled landscape is one of the last large forests near the German Baltic coast. It is an important part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s cultural and natural identity as well as an important tourist attraction. As over 13 %of the people from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern live in the area, the communal forest is also a very big recreation factor.
In 1951, all communal forests were taken to the state forest department and later big parts of them into a military forest department. They were cleared and walking areas were blocked off, leaving only a small part accessible to civilians. In 1990, over 50 % of the communal forests were in military use.

In 1993, Rostock regained ownership of the entire 6.000 hectares of communal forests. A year later, restoration of their natural state started. It was not an easy task in a region, which has suffered from high unemployment due to severe structural changes in the agricultural, maritime and military sectors. Hence, the project needed to address both ecological and economic concerns in order to bring about short and long-time benefits. In the first phase of the project all traces of military usage were removed. Phase II consisted of reforestation of cleared areas. 30 long-time unemployed people were employed to carry out the work. Several regional firms were hired to finish more specialised tasks such as chemical removal.
So far, 435,000 trees have been planted. Also, drainage systems were developed and 5,000 meters of walking path have been restored.
The results show how a city can manage its forests for the benefit of both present and future generations.

environmental protection
environmental restoration
restoration of military used areas
forest management

Objectives of the Good Practice

The objective was to restore the formerly military used forests to a natural state.

Participants of the Good Practice

City of Rostock
City Forest Office
regional firms for fullfilling specialised tasks
30 long-term unemployed people were employed for the project

Target group of the Good Practice

All citizens and "users" of the forest.

Funding of the Good Practice

Financing came from the EU KONVER 1 - program, from Rostock Labour Office, the Ministry on Social Affairs of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Hanseatic City of Rostock.

More Details of the Good Practice

Available files