Protecting nature | Kellerwald-Edersee National Park

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Protecting nature

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From hunting ground to national park

Continuous settlements in today’s national park can only be verified from the Frankish period (600 - 800 AD).  Clearings advanced up to the highest parts. The beech forest wilderness was forced back.

The rough climate, influenced by wars and the pest led to abandoned settlements once and again. The few remaining traces of the settlement phase are the so-called “Driescher”, former clearing meadows which were continued to be used as rough pastures and then largely reforested with spruces not before the early 19th century.

In the eastern part of the area, which later became part of the Principality of Waldeck, hunting was practiced since the 18th century. When the damages caused by game on the adjoining agricultural land became too dramatic for the farmers, the Principality of Waldeck had a fence erected in 1896, which has been gradually removed today.  Later, fallow deer and moufflon were successfully domiciled. Considerations with regard to a declaration of a “Reichsnaturschutzgebiet” were made in 1934. The area was a Hessian state hunt after WWII and “game reserve” from 1963.

The purpose was changed to “forest reserve” in 1990. Eight years later, the area was registered with Natura 2000, the ecological network, according to the European legislation on nature conservation.

The beech forests south of the Edersee were declared national park on 1 January 2004.

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