Field trips

To enjoy and learn from the surroundings of Hannover, different field trips will be organised. The field trips will take place on Wednesday, 23 October.

Registration for the field trip can be done through the online registration form.

**At the moment all of the field trips are fully booked due to high interest. We are working on arranging additional places on the field trips, or new field trip options. Please note that you can always add a field trip to your registration at a later stage, if spots become available. Keep an eye on the announcements section at the conference home page for updates. We apologise for the inconvenience!**

Six field trips you can choose from are:

  1. Upper Harz Regale Water Management System

  2. Harz mountains hike

  3. Hamelin and the Weser mountains

  4. Hannover biodiversity city tour

  5. Lake Steinhude

  6. Nature Reserve Luneburg Heath

Field trip description

1. Upper Harz Regale Water Management System

Number of participants: 15 minimum, 45 maximum

Experience the UNESCO Cultural and Natural Heritage Site of the Upper Harz Regale Water Management System. One of the world’s largest pre-industrial energy supply systems. Starting from the 16th century, a system of ponds, ditches and underground waterways provided hydropower for the mining of ores in the Upper Harz. Today a large part of this early sustainable energy system is still in operation.

The guided tour will start in St. Andreasberg with a short underground tour through the historic silver ore mine “Grube Samson”. This internationally historic engineering monument was opened in the early 16th century and was for a long time the deepest mine in world. After that a 7 km hike along the “Oderteich” and the “Rehberger Graben” will introduce you to the impressive pond system and the associated ditch network and will highlight the impact of the mining history on the landscape of the Upper Harz. The whole tour will take about 6 - 6.5 hours.

2. Harz mountains hike

Number of participants: 15 minimum, 25 maximum

Experience a field trip of different nature: A visit to the Harz National Park, part of UNESCO Global Geopark and Natura 2000 nature conservation – network. After a short stop at the National Park Visitor Center, we will hike to the top of the Brocken (1141m) – the highest peak in Northern Germany. It has some special features: it is geographically located on the former inner-German border and was from 1961 to 1989 a restricted area. Its position and altitude in northern Germany ensure at times harsh winds and cold temperatures. The hike will follow the footsteps of Goethe, famous German writer and poet. The hike is 18 km long and takes about 6 hours, thus it requires some physical shape and weather-proof clothing – proper footwear, rain and wind-proof jacket, daypack. The trail crosses high elevation moors, spruce tree landscapes and dense forests, and allows to see historical sites and traditional German steam trains passing. Weather proof clothing is needed, as the Brocken records 300 foggy days annually. Once on the top above the timberline, a visit to the National Park Center is optional.

3. Hamelin and the Weser mountains

Number of participants: 15 minimum, 50 maximum

Just 45 km southwest from Hannover, you will have the opportunity to experience a day trip to the historical city of Hamelin and the surrounding Weser mountains. Besides its beautiful historical city center, Hamelin is well-known for the legend of the Pied Piper, which has been included in the German national register of intangible cultural heritage and which is omnipresent in the cityscape. According to the legend, a man in multicolored, pied clothes freed the city from an infestation of rats with his magic pipe in the year 1284 and lured all but two children of the city away after the mayor refused to pay his salary. We will have a guided city tour and learn more about the Pied Piper legend and the turbulent history of the former Hanse city and fortress of Hamelin.

In the afternoon, we will discover the nature park Weser mountains and have a short hike (1.5 - 2 hours) to the Hohenstein, an up to 60 m high cliff made of coral oolite at the Süntel, which provides a fantastic view over the region. Moreover, the Süntel is permeated by dripstone caves and habitat and name giver for a botanical rarity, the dwarf beeches (Fagus sylvatica var. Suentelensis) of which only about one dozen is left in the region.

4. Hannover biodiversity city tour

Number of participants: 15 minimum, 30 maximum

The city of Hannover, recently awarded the title of ‘Federal Capital of Biodiversity’, is both renowned and highly active in safeguarding, enhancing and restoring its natural resources and green spaces. The city created and now implements a biodiversity strategy which aims to safeguard important habitats and to foster species diversity. The Hannover city tour will showcase several highlights and hot spots of biodiversity in the city. The tour will include a leisurely stroll through some precious habitats of the famous Eilenriede city forest, one of the largest urban forests in Europe. It will continue with a stop at some cities of urban bee keeping, one of the several activities recently supported by the city. The tour will continue with a visit of the Kronsberg neighborhood located in the south-east of Hannover and established during the Expo 2000 world trade fair as a prime example for sustainable urban development, integrating biodiversity protection, nature conservation, local recreation and agricultural interests at the same time.

The city tour will conclude with a visit of the Herrenhausen Gardens - a unique combination of several parks and gardens close to Leibniz University. The garden site is unique and was named “best historic garden in Europe” in 2015. The Gardens combine different styles of landscape and garden architecture, and have recently been complemented with the restoration of a castle. Our guided tour will explain the history of the gardens, address questions of sustainability and nature conservation, and explore the roles that the Gardens play in the larger urban fabric.

5. Lake Steinhude

Number of participants: 15 minimum, 40 maximum

The Lake Steinhude tour will visit the spectacular landscape of Northwest Germany’s largest lake, the Steinhuder Meer, which is about 302 hectares large. A first stop will be made at the extended heathland areas such as the Totes Moor and Wunstorfer Moor, where we will learn more about the historic development of the area, its importance for the delivery of multiple ecosystem services and protection of species. We will also witness and discuss current challenges for protection, such as ongoing heath extraction, as well as activities for heath restoration. In case we are lucky, we might even catch a glimpse of the local white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus Albicilla).

We will also stop at the villages of Mardorf or Steinhude with opportunities for exploring the historical Scheunenviertel district and to taste the local specialty, the fish bread roles. We continue with a boat trip to the Wilhelmstein fortress (in case weather allows). We will continue our tour with some hiking and bird-watching opportunities in the south around the Natura 2000 bird protection site ‘Meerbruchwiesen’, before we continue back home to Hannover.

6. Nature Reserve Luneburg Heath

Number of participants: 20 minimum, 55 maximum 

Visit the heart of Germany’s first nature park (founded 1922) – the Luneburg Heath Nature Reserve and the museum village Wilsede. The Luneburg Heath is a cultural landscape created over centuries due to especial livestock (sheep) farming on low-fertile sandy soils. Today conservation measurements preserve the character of the landscape. The whole nature park is a car-free area and contains the largest contiguous heathland in Central Europe. In the heath blossom from beginning of August until mid-September the heather (Calluna vulgaris) blooms in a vibrant purple, making the heather blossom an iconic event of the Luneburg Heath and nature conservation.

The field trip includes the visit of the museum village Wilsede presenting 17th to 19th century with a guided tour in the museum Dat ole Huus, a visit of the highest peak Wilseder Berg (169 m) and the most beautiful and famous valley Totengrund in the Luneburg Heath. The transportation in the nature park will be by horse-pulled carriages. In Wilsede, there is an option to taste typical local food in a café.

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