The Gernsdorfer Weidekämpe Nature Reserve in Siegerland is a meadow complex abounding in flowering plants. Such meadows have survived here because traditional land-use practices are still used today.
From extensive wet and moist meadows, lowland and mountain hay meadows, nutrient-poor meadows and pastures to Mat Grass fields – the great diversity of grassland types in the Gernsdorfer Weidekämpe Nature Reserve is something special. The term Weidekämpe relates to a large pasture that was created on a cleared area of so-called "Hauberg" coppice forest in the 19th century.
Because the area lies in a transition altitude zone, hay meadow types of lowland and hilly country (Tall Oat Grass meadows) occur in the immediate vicinity of mountain hay meadows (Golden Oat Grass meadows). The higher-growing Tall Oat Grass meadows with Meadow Fescue or Tall Oat Grass are full of such meadow flowers as Bluebells, Daisies and Field Scabious. The flowers populating the shorter Golden Oat Grass meadows are Cranesbill, Hedge Bedstraw and Bistort.
Rare grassland birds of the area are Whinchat and Meadow Pipit. As ground-nesting birds, these can only breed successfully if the meadows are not mown in the breeding season, as is the case here in the reserve.
The summer months from May to mid-July offer a unique experience in years that didn’t have a late spring frost, as thousands of Greater Butterfly Orchids and Heath Spotted Orchids then come into bloom in the meadows and pastures.
The small area can easily be explored on foot. The circular trail (about four kilometres long) is one of the audio paths on the Rothaarsteig trail and offers the possibility of calling up audio texts via a QR code at points of interest. The trail starts at the information boards and leads gently uphill in a southward direction. As you continue to follow the trail uphill, the Tall Oat Grass meadows are replaced by Golden Oat Grass meadows, and later there are extensive areas of Mat-Grass to the left of the trail. Continuing along the trail, you have views of the Weidekamp which is criss-crossed here by the headwaters of numerous streams You also experience a floodplain forest area and a low mountain stream. From the Gernsdorfer Weidekämpe, you can also reach the Rothaarsteig trail.
all notes on protected areas
Driving eastward out of Gernsdorf on the Marburger/Koblenzer Straße, the area is located about halfway up the hill on the country road.
Address for satnavs: no localisation possible
GPS (UTM): 32 U 442681, 5632870
Google coordinates: 50.845217, 8.188045
There are a few parking spaces along the country road. You can also park at the sports field in Gernsdorf.
32U 442840 5632928
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Buch „Naturschätze Südwestfalens entdecken“ (ISBN: 9783000481215)
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