The „Große Veen“ is the largest wet heath in the lower Rhine region and harbours many rare animal and plant species. Several measures to preserve and develop humid heathland were conducted between late 2014 and early 2015:
The Regionalforstamt Niederrhein contributed to raising the wetlands’ value by keeping open the mires’ edges. This significantly reduced the amount of shade and evaporation on the bogs. Once encroaching woody plants had been cut back, the topsoil was removed along the bogs and wet dells, particularly in the south-eastern part of the Veen. These areas had been in a bad state of preservation and were poor in species, having been dominated by moor grass. Close to 3 hectares of humid, boggy ground were freed of vegetation and can now be repopulated by humid heath flora species such as sundew, cross-leaved heath and marsh clubmoss. There are probably still seeds of these typical plant communities in the ground, which can reestablish a population now that the topsoil has been carefully removed. The dells are flooded for a lot of the year and present a habitat for the pool frog, the common water frog, the moor frog and numerous dragonfly species.
To further improve the wetlands’ water balance, the historical drainage ditches which permeate the entire area were filled up and compacted. This was done using the removed topsoil and served to recreate a hydrological cycle approaching that of natural bogs and humid heaths. Tailoring the water level to a height that neither drowns nor dries out the sensitive vegetation was especially important.