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Human use

Agriculture and landscape care

The cultural landscape in the present biosphere reserve „Schorfheide-Chorin“got its character after centuries, through the development of agricultural and other forms of use by man. The resulting responsibility for the environment and the residents living there, is held by the “agriculture” department within the administration of the biosphere reserve following the Parliamentary act for protected areas, launched in 1990 by the last governing body of the German Democratic Republic.

The administration co-operates with all farming enterprises independent of their legal form or type of production. The extent of co-operation is broad and includes, for example the realisation of restrictions, the integration of scientific projects and public relations. Many farmers are eligible for grants for managing their arable land in a nature-friendly and sustainable manner, and for following the guide-lines of the biosphere administration.

Another example is the mutual development of rural space with the help of processing- and marketing structures. Together with the promoting association “Kulturlandschaft Uckermark e.V.” the administration created a regional label (Prüfzeichen) to certify 

regional products of special quality and origin




Forestry and hunting

Forestry within the biosphere reserve represents the main part of land use compared to other forms like agriculture, fishery and others. Most of the forest is not natural, but consists of man-made coniferous stands. They are unstable and don’t contribute to the ecological balance. On that score the conversion into mixed forests, rich in species and structure, with several ages of tree and the avoidance of over-logging, is the first aim of forestry management















In zone 1 (core zone), the protection of dynamic processes in the ecosystem of forests is the priority. No human use takes place. In zone2 (care zone) a nature-friendly use is allowed if it has no negative impact on the aims of conservation in the biosphere reserve. In the best case it supports the conservation aims. The potential natural forest-societies are an important indication to determine the best suited tree-species. The percentage of deciduous tree- and shrub species should increase on all considered sites.  The furthering of care- and development plans (forest care planning) for the forest in zone 2 is the most important issue of the “ecological forestry” section in the offices of the Biosphere reserve. The Department of forestry for Land Brandenburg, the authorities of nature protection from the several counties, the owners of the forest, the hunters and tenants work together in close collaboration. Nature-friendly forest management depends on the reduction of the critically high density of game on an ecological level. In the biosphere reserve “Schorfheide-Chorin” the red deer occurs over the whole area. Roe deer, wild boar, mouflon and fallow deer are also present. The woods of the “Schorfheide” have been favoured as hunting grounds by the movers and shakers of the historic periods for many centuries. Hunting is an important kind of land use and biotope care. Through the co-operation of conservation and hunting, the density of game is decreased to meet the aims of the protected zones 1 and 2.



Fishermen run their businesses on nearly all the natural lakes as well as on the man-made ponds. At the man made ponds the fishermen let off the water every year in autumn, and fill them again in spring. Fishing as a hobby is also possible on many natural lakes and in selected fishponds.





Landscape planning and tourism

The biosphere reserve develops target values for the development of settlement, public transport, economy and tourism, which are aimed at harmonising the interests of conservation and land users. A long term nature-friendly sustainable use of resources is guaranteed. The southern region “Uckermark” and the “Schorfheide” are imprinted by low -density settlement and by agriculture and forestry. Political change and the recent development of the economy has led to a serious loss of jobs. In many people’s opinion, conservation seems to be an opponent of prosperity. That is not necessarily correct. Nature conservation can mean a significant financial input in respect of the realisation of model projects, especially in the biosphere reserve. For example, by providing money in the realm of farmer’s contracts to protect nature, and with multifaceted governmental programmes for land users in the rural areas.




Ecological compatible tourism has to be nature-friendly, socially acceptable, economic and regionally profitable. The aims of tourism development include: the promotion of environmentally compatible recreation use through promotion and public relations, de-concentration of urban structures, growth of infrastructure and information offers, and the development of a sustainable concept for public transport.