Natura 2000

What is Natura 2000?

Natura 2000 is a European network of protected areas for threatened or particularly typical natural habitats and species. The aim is to protect plants, animals and habitats in their natural areas of distribution all over Europe. The network therefore makes an important contribution to protecting biodiversity in the EU.  

The Natura 2000 network is made up of areas protected under the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive 

The Habitats Directive states that special protected areas must be designated for a total of 231 habitat types and around 1000 species across the whole EU. Of those, 28 habitats and 24 species are relevant to Luxembourg.  

Under the Birds Directive, special protected areas must be designated for 193 species and for other regularly appearing migratory birds. This applies to a total of 69 bird species in Luxembourg.  

Farming is still possible in Natura 2000 sites, provided this does not have a significantly detrimental effect on the habitats or species (ban on deterioration). In some cases, appropriate farming is explicitly desirable, or even essential, in order to preserve habitats and species. It is true that only as a result of human management have many traditional cultural landscapes in Europe become the valuable habitats that we need to protect today (e. g. heathland, coppiced and mixed coppiced and standard forest areas…). Natura 2000 therefore sees people and their activities as an integral part of this European network of protected areas. 

source: Natura 2000 barometer

Newly founded steering committee for Natura 2000 Mëllerdall starts work 

In order to encourage and support the implementation of the management plans for Natura 2000 sites, on 6 June 2019 a steering committee (COmité de PILotage), COPIL for short, was set up for the Nature & Geopark Mëllerdall, also including the Aerenzdallgemeng (municipality of the Vallée de l’Ernz) and the town of Reisdorf. Another intended purpose of the steering committee is to get local stakeholders more involved. In this, the “animateur“/coordinator plays an especially important role, serving as a central point of contact for everything to do with Natura 2000. Their other responsibilities include initiating, coordinating and supporting specific Natura 2000 projects, doing PR work and raising awareness around Natura 2000. On 1 July 2019, the animateur/coordinator appointed to the steering committee for Natura 2000 Mëllerdall began her work at the administrative headquarters of the Nature & Geopark Mëllerdall. 

thumbnail of N2K-Übersicht – COPIL Mëllerdall

You can find more information here.

LU0001011: Valley of the Black Ernz / Beaufort / Berdorf 

Area: 4195.19 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for about 4152 ha)  

Brief description (cf. SDF end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • The valley of the Black Ernz and its tributaries, cut deep into the sandstone in the heart of the Müllerthal. 
  • The area is predominantly wooded (around 80%, consisting mainly of Luzulo-Fagetum and Asperulo-Fagetum beech forest). The Elteschmuer here is almost the only example of bog woodland in Luxembourg. 
  • Typical of the Müllerthal is the high proportion of rocky habitats and caves, so the protected area is also very important for its many rare ferns (incl. the Killarney fern, Trichomanes speciosum) and mosses and also for rock breeding birds such as eagle owls, and for various species of bat that find places to overwinter here.  
  • Agricultural land use (mainly in the form of permanent pasture) is confined to the flatter parts of the protected area, where there are also still many meadow orchards. 

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 6.11.2009):  

  • the water quality of the Black Ernz, the Aesbaach, the Lauterbornerbaach and their tributaries,  
  • various freshwater habitats, 
  • the population of certain aquatic species such as the brook lamprey and the great crested newt, 
  • various kinds of woodland such as riparian forest, 
  • rocky habitats such as limestone or silicate rock with rock cleft vegetation, and caves,  
  • various kinds of grassland and heathland vegetation (including chalk heath), 
  • various kinds of moorland habitats, including petrifying springs with tufa formation, 
  • the population of certain bat species, including Bechstein’s bat,  
  • Dicranum viride moss and the Killarney fern

LU0001015: Valley of the White Ernz  

Area: 2013.82 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 2013.82 ha)  

Brief description (see also SDF end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • The valley of the White Ernz and the surrounding wooded area between Ernzen and Ermsdorf. 
  • The area is predominantly wooded (78%, primarily Luzulo-Fagetum and Asperulo-Fagetum beech forest), plus three of the country’s four different kinds of riparian forest occur here. 
  • The few areas of agricultural land that lie within the protected area are mostly farmed as permanent pasture. 
  • More than 20% of all Luxembourg’s European dry heath habitat is found here. 
  • Partly thanks to the high proportion of rocky habitats and caves, the area also includes some interesting sites for many rare ferns and mosses. 

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 6.11.2009):  

  • the water quality of the White Ernz and its tributaries,  
  • riparian forest and certain kinds of beech forest,  
  • various rocky habitats and caves,  
  • various kinds of grassland and heathland vegetation (including chalk heath), 
  • the population of the great crested newt and the greater mouse-eared bat

LU0001016: Herborn – Herborn Forest / Echternach – Haard 

Area: 1178.36 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 1178.36 ha)  

Brief description (see also SDF end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • The area is predominantly wooded (86%, mainly Luzulo-Fagetum, Asperulo-Fagetum and Melico-Fagetum beech forest): the Herborn and Haard forests. 
  • The few areas of agricultural land that lie within the protected area are mostly farmed as grazing land, with annual crops and meadow orchards making up only a small part of the agricultural land. 
  • The area is a hotspot for juniper formations (over 72% of all occurrences in Luxembourg are found here). 
  • A hotspot for Dicranum viride moss (one of three hotspots in the country). 
  • The area is also very important for certain bird species (see also EU bird protection areas LU0002005 and LU0002015)  

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 6.11.2009):  

  • chalk heath and juniper heath, 
  • various kinds of beech forest (Luzulo-Fagetum & Asperulo-Fagetum beech forest), 
  • the population of two bat species (greater mouse-eared bat, Geoffroy’s bat), 
  • the incidence of Dicranum viride moss

LU0001017: Valley of the Lower Sûre  

Area: 1526.98 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 1320 ha)  

Brief description (see also SDF end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • The lower Sûre valley between Echternach and Wasserbillig and adjacent valley sides and upland areas. 
  • Almost half the protected area is used for agriculture, with rather more than half of that used for arable farming. 
  • About one third of the area is covered with deciduous forest, mainly various kinds of beech forest such as Asperulo-Fagetum beech forest. 
  • Other features of interest are the areas of chalk heath, one of the most species-rich kinds of habitat, Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines and also the rare limestone beech forest.  
  • In addition to a big colony of greater mouse-eared bat, other bat species are also of interest in this protected area. 

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 6.11.2009):  

  • the water quality of the lower Sûre and its tributaries (incl. specific freshwater habitat types and aquatic species such as the brook lamprey), 
  • various rocky habitats, 
  • various types of grassland vegetation such as the particularly species- and flora-rich chalk heath and lowland hay meadows, 
  • various kinds of woodland habitat such as riparian forest and forests of slopes, screes and ravines, 
  • the populations of the greater mouse-eared bat and the Jersey tiger moth

LU0001020: Calcareous grassland in the Junglinster region 

Area: 1507.12 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 454 ha) 

Brief description (see also SDF end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • Hilly landscape between the Gréngewald forest and the Mëllerdall region around Junglinster, Altlinster, Bourglinster, GodbrangeOberanven and Ernster. 
  • Rather more than half the protected area is used for agriculture – mostly in the form of grassland, but there are also meadow orchards here. 
  • Also worth highlighting is the chalk heath (a quarter of Luxembourg’s total) which is particularly rich in endangered animal and plant species – and in places there is an impressively large number of orchids. 
  • The large areas of wet grassland are mainly in the valley of the White Ernz. 
  • The wooded areas are also largely confined to the slopes of the Black and White Ernz valleys (Bierger and Weimericht). 
  • In addition to its importance as a habitat for a colony of greater mouse-eared bats, the area is also very significant for a number of bird species (see also EU bird protection areas LU0002005 and LU0002015). 

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 6.11.2009):  

  • various types of grassland, including chalk heath, 
  • juniper heath, 
  • riparian forest and certain kinds of beech forest, 
  • the populations of the greater mouse-eared bat and the marsh fritillary

LU0002005: Valley of the White Ernz from Bourglinster to Fischbach 

Area: 758.73 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 374 ha)  

Brief description (see also SDF end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • The area extends along the valley of the White Ernz between Bourglinster and Fischbach. 
  • Three-quarters of the protected area is used for agriculture – most of it as grassland (including purple moor-grass meadow) which provides a habitat for many (rare) bird species (such as the meadow pipit). 
  • Of particular interest here are the large areas of wet grassland, some with reed beds and large sedge swamps (providing a habitat for Eurasian reed warblers and common reed buntings, among others). 
  • The wooded part (of which more than half is deciduous woodland) is mainly confined to the slopes to the north of Junglinster and south of Fischbach; there are also some small sections of riparian forest. 
  • Along the White Ernz there is evidence of the presence of kingfishers. 
  • Evidence of breeding red kites, black kites and European honey buzzards, among others, is regularly seen. 
  • During the migration season, Northern lapwing are seen, sometimes in large numbers and sometimes accompanied by European golden plovers and other wading birds.  

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 30.11.2012):  

  • the populations of the following bird species: kingfisher, corncrake, red-backed shrike, great grey shrike, black kite, red kite, European honey buzzard, 
  • and other bird species living on grassland, marshes, large sedge swamps/reed beds and other wetland areas

LU0002015: Junglinster region 

Area: 3058.74 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 192 ha)  

Brief description (see also SDB end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • Hilly landscape between the Gréngewald and the Mëllerdall region. 
  • The majority of the protected area is used for agriculture – three-quarters of it as grassland, providing a habitat for many (rare) bird species (such as the Eurasian skylark, quail, partridge)  
  • The well-structured and extensively used agricultural areas (a mosaic of dry grassland and wetland areas) have Luxembourg’s highest population density of great grey shrike and red-backed shrike – and the common linnet and Eurasian wryneck are also found here. 
  • Most of the wet grassland areas and reed beds are to be found in the valley of the Black Ernz – this is where, in particular, the Eurasian reed warbler, common reed bunting, kingfisher and black stork are to be found. 
  • Also of particular interest are the species-rich chalk heath (a quarter of Luxembourg’s total), mainly confined to the sunny slopes around the small town of Junglinster. 
  • Most of the small area of woodland is made up of various kinds of beech forest (incl. Luzulo-Fagetum and Asperulo-Fagetum beech forest) and is home to, among other species, wood warblers, black woodpeckers and other kinds of woodpecker. 
  • Birds of prey such as the red kite, black kite and hen harrier are also regularly seen in the protected area.  

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 04.01.2016):  

  • the populations of the following bird species: Eurasian skylark, black stork, hen harrier, red-backed shrike, great grey shrike, black kite, red kite, European honey buzzard, wood warbler, Northern lapwing 
  • and other bird species living in open landscapes or on grassland, orchards and other structured landscapes or on marshes, large sedge swamps/reed beds and other wetland areas

LU0002016: Region around MompachManternachBech and Osweiler 

Area: 4962.77 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 2584 ha) 

Brief description (see also SDB end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • Landscape between MompachManternachBech and Osweiler, an area criss-crossed by several waterways. 
  • Two-thirds of the protected area is used for agriculture (mainly grassland which provides a habitat for many (rare) bird species such as the Eurasian skylark, quail, partridge). 
  • The well-structured and extensively used agricultural areas (a mosaic of dry grassland and wetland areas, together with a number of valuable meadow orchards) have a high population density of great grey shrike and red-backed shrike – and the common linnet and Eurasian wryneck are also found here. 
  • Also of particular interest are the species-rich chalk heath and low-nutrient meadows. 
  • Along the river banks, Eurasian reed warblers, common reed buntings, kingfishers and black storks are found. 
  • The wooded areas consist mainly of deciduous woodland (87%) – mostly beech forest, home to wood warblers and various species of woodpecker. 
  • Birds of prey such as the red kite, black kite and hen harrier are also regularly seen in the protected area. 

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 04.01.2016):  

  • the populations of the following bird species: Eurasian skylark, black stork, hen harrier, red-backed shrike, great grey shrike, black kite, red kite, European honey buzzard, wood warbler, Northern lapwing 
  • and other bird species living in open landscapes or on grassland, orchards and other structured landscapes or on marshes, large sedge swamps/reed beds and other wetland areas

LU0001002: Valley of the Our from Ouren to Wallendorf-Pont 

Area: 5675.92 ha (of which COPIL Natura 2000 Mëllerdall is responsible for 90 ha) 

Brief description (see also SDB end 2018-15/03/2019): 

  • The western side of the Our valley including its tributaries and part of the Ardennes upland plateau from the border between Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg as far as Wallendorf. 
  • The area is very important for species that need moving water (such as the thick shelled river mussel and freshwater pearl mussel) – this is also the only known site in Luxembourg where the orange-spotted emerald dragonfly is found. 
  • Almost half the wooded area consists of conifers, while more than half the deciduous woodland and therefore over one-third of the wooded slopes is covered in coppice. 
  • Also of particular importance are the forests of slopes, screes and ravines and the remnants of riparian forest. 
  • Approx. 18% of the protected area is used for agriculture – a third of it for arable crops, but in the Our valley there are still a few valuable and species-rich low-nutrient meadows. 
  • The area is also very important for certain bird species (see also EU bird protection area LU0002003).  

The main targets for protection (under the ban on deterioration) in this area are the following habitats and species (see also RGD 6.11.2009):  

  • the water quality of the Our and its tributaries (incl. a specific type of freshwater habitat and aquatic species such as the thick shelled river mussel, freshwater pearl mussel, otter, brook lamprey, orange-spotted emerald dragonfly), 
  • various types of species-rich grassland, including Nardus grassland and low-nutrient meadows, 
  • various kinds of woodland, incl. riparian forest, forests of slopes, screes and ravines, 
  • rocky habitats such as limestone or silicate rock with rock cleft vegetation,  
  • the populations of the Jersey tiger moth, greater mouse-eared bat, Geoffroy’s bat