German border nature reserve

A large strip of land between East and West Germany formed was abandoned during the Cold War as the the frontier area. Nature took over. Around 600 threatened species of animal and plant life were given a free rein in a no man’s land overshadowed by minefields, metal fences and watchtowers. Today it forms a unique and extraordinarily rich chain of nature reserves running for nearly 1,400km in a gentle zigzag from the Vogtland region, near the German-Czech border in the south, to the Baltic Sea in the north, and interlinked to form what the Germans call a grünes band, a green belt.

The Guardian

The borders continue through all the old East-West frontier down to what was Yugoslavia and across to the Greek-Bulgarian border. This now forms what is called the European Green Belt

“The ‘Iron Curtain’ divided Eastern and Western Europe for almost 40 years cutting off contacts between people on both sides. Nature seized the deserted border areas. Today a string of beautiful habitats with rare plants and animals connects European landscapes and forms a living monument of European history”. Official site


The European Green Belt inititative has the vision to create the backbone of an ecological network that runs from the Barents to the Black sea, spanning some of the most important habitats for biodiversity and almost all distinct biogeographical regions in Europe. European Green Belt