Location: Near Grünbach/Muldenberg in Vogt County
SAC area: Upper Zwickauer Mulde Valley (domestic registration number: 72 E)
From a hydrological development history perspective, this moor area is mainly part of the marshy mountainous raised moors with mature highland moor. They have been subjected to the effects of peat removal and forestry exploitation for centuries, with raft ditches also having been dug. The three considerable peat beds that remained over 50 years ago had been nearly completely eradicated. Even in some areas of the moor with surviving peat beds formerly >0.8 meters, the peat beds are disappearing as a result of deep drainage ditches and exploitation for forestry. These three patches of peat are showing signs of regeneration, with the arrangement of new peat-forming vegetation growth (sphagnum, sedges, cottongrass) corresponding to the current water supply conditions. The water supply to the three patches of peat from the corresponding catchment areas is affected in part by the stream redirection and drainage ditches built for forestry that divert some of the water flowing down the slope directly into the stream before it passes the patches of peat.
Over one third of the total of 330 ha research area constitutes a complex comprised of various degrees of peat moss-rich Calamagrostio villosae-Fagetum, regenerating peat layers, and nearly untouched streams of flowing water. It is a relatively large, interconnected area with these characteristics.
An approach was therefore developed that focused on the concept of preserving natural processes and the following development objectives were suggested:
• Restoration or conservation of water supply conditions defined by natural morphology and geology in the three peat patches to the greatest extent possible
• Protection of naturally occurring regeneration processes in the peat patches and the surrounding forests or new moor areas growing out from here and
• Preservation of the surviving moor and peat beds as well as the hindrance of peat disintegration processes.
Implementation of measures:
Included in the short- and medium-term measures of the three-phase action plan are the filling of peat patch drainage ditches and construction of dams to plug drainage ditches in parts of the catchment area and the surviving peat layers. In keeping with this, the drainage ditches of the peat patch above the so-called Solbringshaide in the southern part of the region were blocked and water from the catchment area was reintroduced in 2001. Two additional construction stages were performed in 2007 with the construction of 19 board dams in the drainage ditches located in the part of the Solbrigshaide with surviving peat beds. During the last construction phase in 2010, 17 board and sheet piling dams were built in the northern part of the moor area, the so-called Stubbenhaide. All dams were built by hand. Four dams were built by employees of the Gemeinde Grünbach (Municipality of Grünbach) under the direction of the nature park as part of a compensate and replace measure.
On 4/17/2012, the “Erzgebirge/Vogtland (Ore Mountains/Vogt County)” nature park held a completion event at which everyone involved in implementation and any interested parties could learn more about the progress made in the restoration efforts and see the clearly visible results firsthand.
We coordinated all measures with the environmental protection authorities, the Staatsbetrieb Sachsenforst (Statutory Public Body for Forestry in Saxony) as a representative of the property owner, and the Landestalsperrenverwaltung (Reservoir Administration).
We received financial support for project implementation from funds of the “Natürliches Erbe (Natural Heritage)” directive.