• Wirtsgarten bei Kühnhaide
  • Wirtsgarten near Kühnhaide
  • Wirtsgarten bei Kühnhaide

Wirtsgarten near Kühnhaide

Location: at the edge of the Kühnhaide in the Ore Mountain region at an elevation of 730m above sea level

SAC area: Mountain meadow around Rübenau, Kühnhaide, and Satzung (domestic identification number: 262)

Brief description:
This is a watershed moor. The drained northern portion where the turf hasn’t been removed is dominated by severely degenerated spruce (birch) moor woodlands with abundant moor grasses. The area formerly covered by a peat bed is now mainly open land. Due to previous harvesting of peat, this area has a very dramatically structured topography with cut away areas measuring up to 1.6 m. Peat harvesting continued with disruptions until 1989. In some places, peat was removed all the way down to the mineral substrate and then covered with local trash.
Parts of the peat bed are now in various stages of regeneration, which is evident in the development of small sedge fens or cottongrass communities rich in peat moss and dwarf shrubs. Soft-stem spikerush is found in areas that are constantly wet. Plants such as bog bilberries grow on slivers of peat that were not harvested. The former peat bed was, for example, home to common vipers, various odonates (alpine emeralds, large white-faced darters, white-faced darters, and common hawker) as well as the moorland clouded yellow butterfly. Threatened with extinction, the moorland clouded yellow butterfly is a type of butterfly that depends on the bog bilberries for its development.
Implementation of measures:
Preparatory investigations with the aim of developing a plan of action for re-watering the peat bed (measurements, moor drill samples and probing, hydrological, hydrochemical, and vegetation research) were launched in 2001. Building upon this, an action plan was put together for the moor area in 2003. Implementation of re-watering measures in the peat bed started in 2004. They were actively supported by what was then the Forstamt Marienberg (Forestry Office of Marienberg). This resulted in the filling of the section of the western ditches bordering the area by forestry workers in 2004. Irrigation ditches up to 20 m long were also constructed in order to direct the water from the western catchment area, with the water exiting in the direction of the peat bed. Efforts carried out within the peat bed were completed in 2005 with the construction of 15 wooden dams. The dams now retain the water in the peat bed in order to allow the moor plants in the backup areas to take over. It will be a long time, however, before peat starts to form again. Soon after the measures were carried out, re-watering was already visibly effective. On 9/23/2010, the moor was returned to nature as part of an official completion event.