Prügelsteg, © Horst Dolak


The conservation area, covering 31 hectares, is located in the municipal area of Heidenreichstein. In addition, a Ramsar reserve (Waldviertel ponds, peat bogs and riverine landscapes) and a Natura 2000 zone overlap. In the northwest of the Ramsar reserve there is the natural monument called Hängender Stein (“Hanging stone“).

The conservation area comprises approximately 6000 years old disturbed raised bog and transitional moor sections, together with peat bog forest and adjacent peat soil forest. According to experts, although partially peat-harvested in the last centuries, it counts among the most promising for renaturalization in northern Waldviertel. There is a forest track leading from north to south with trenches on either side which have been assembled with wooden dams at irregular intervals during the past few years. The terrain slopes from north to south (south-southeast) in its whole extension“only“ by 4 metres. A complex system of former drainage ditches extends through the conservation area and dewaters into Winkelauerteich. Due to the recent very hot and dry summers especially, there is more and more lack of surface water which normally feeds raised bogs. Thus it is even more important to prevent the fast drainage with the help of impoundments and by blocking the ditches. Cultivation measurements and the stabilization of the hydrological conditions may help to compensate weather extremes at least in some degree.

Close to the Nature Park Centre an approximately 1 hectare stretch of once mown meadow was located for preserving and forcing different insect species. It offers a large-dimensioned “insect hotel“, various butterfly and bee foodplants as well as several piles for lignivorous ants. Visitors may walk  through this generally accessible insect habitat on an only 2 metres wide mowed footpath. Numerous dry areas with cairns and bedrock are affected by reptiles. In addition there is a grove of fruit trees with a dry stone wall on its northern side. Altogether there are 140 different fruit trees around the Nature Park Centre. The woodland edge was completed with various indigenous bushes, where countless insects, birds and mammals reside. 

The conservation of the peat bog biotope is, apart from climate protection, the basis for the conservation of different specialised animal and plant species.