About us

wilderness area Jüterbog | Stiftung NLB

Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation

The Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation took the opportunity to found wilderness on the sites of four selected former military training grounds. Founded in Potsdam by private and public partners in 2000, it now owns and takes care of over 12,800 hectares that are unique in Germany for their size, lack of roads and wilderness development.
With the aim of supporting, experiencing as well as exploring wilderness (“Wildnis stiften, erleben und erforschen”) the Foundation has taken a holistic approach from the beginning, striving to promote wider knowledge of wilderness and to make its beauty and fascination accessible for the public.


Field trip wilderness seminar 2015 | © Stiftung NLBSince the founding in 2000, the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation has been actively promoting the conservation of nature. It looks back on a history full of challenges, successes and opportunities.
After the Soviet troops left in 1994, large areas of training grounds which often served for military purposes for a century and a half were available for peaceful development, opening up huge opportunities for those concerned with nature conservation. Although military exploitation greatly damaged these landscapes it ensured large areas were left unpopulated and that no roads cut through them today.

The abandoned training grounds were given to Brandenburg as a present by the chancellor in 1994, thus making them the Land’s property. In order to ensure the land could be used by private investors, the Brandenburgische Boden Gesellschaft für Grundstücksverwaltung und –verwertung GmbH (Brandenburg Ground Society for Property Management and Property Utilization – BBG) was founded and charged with the sales management. This gave rise to concerns that the land would be partitioned and privatised on the basis of financial considerations only, and a vision formed: part of the training grounds should be purchased and valuable habitats made a permanent nature conservation area. At the same time, areas for the protection of natural processes were to be created where nature developed dynamically without or with only little interference by humans.

In an exemplary initiative, public and private partners joined forces in order to realise their dream of creating and preserving natural landscapes in Brandenburg. On 16 May 2000, the Land Brandenburg, the Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt (Frankfurt Zoological Society), the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (German Society for Nature Conservation), the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the regionally active Landschafts-Förderverein Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung (Society for the Promotion of Landscapes in the Nuthe-Nieplitz Lowlands) and a private person created the Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation (Stiftung Naturlandschaften Brandenburg). Thus a foundation under private law was born – it had the unique task of purchasing former military training grounds and permanently protecting them as nature conservation areas of national and international importance.
The protection of natural processes and the provision that nature should develop with no or only little interference by humans are still fairly new goals on the nature conservation agenda and continue to be a great challenge. One of the goals of the German government’s national strategy on biological diversity from 2007 is to transform 2% of Germany’s territory into wilderness areas by 2020. The land purchased by the Stiftung Naturlandschaften Brandenburg is an important contribution towards reaching this aim.

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