An Outing to the Esterweger Dose
Peat cutting until 2036
The Esterweger Dose is one of the largest contiguous raised bog areas in northern Germany. It is also one of the last areas in Germany where it is possible to cut peat. Until 2036 it will be legal to continue peat cutting despite its certification as a nature reserve. As agreed, the areas will be renatured once the licenses expire and it is excluded that peat will continue to be cut. New economically viable methods to grow peat are being studied at the University of Greifswald.
At the University of Greifswald there are currently four projects studying the cultivation of peat moss. The goal is to enable a fast revitalization of the raised bog areas and create the economically important peat in some other way:
"When using the white peat as a growing medium sensitive eco-systems are drained, destroyed and in a just a few years the bogs that took thousands of years to grow are destroyed. The carbon that has been caught in the bog is released back into the atmosphere as CO2. With the peat’s disappearance an archive of agricultural human history disappears as well."
The projects include planting peat moss on already cut areas or not yet renatured areas or on dry pasture land as well as the industrial possibility of an artificial peat moss farm.
Niedersächsischer Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz | Steckbriefe aller niedersächsischen Naturschutzgebiete