Wuppertal, Germany
City population: 340237
Duration: 1990 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 30000 m2
Type of area: Other
Last updated: October 2021

In 1958 the former marsh "Hellmansbruch", a botanical and zoological jewel, was drained to build the motorway junction Wuppertal North. Since 1990, the working group Nature and Environmental protection (ANU) which consists of volunteers, has maintained a protected landscape area of 3 ha (remains of the former marsh) with the regionally highest density of moorland spotted orchid in the middle of the transport junction. Based on continuous mostly manual maintenance work, such as cutting back encroaching bushes, the large orchid population could be protected and the green space area in total even increased, becoming a biodiversity hotspot. (Ref. 3 and 7). The project also includes the protection of endangered flora and fauna native to the area, including endangered amphibians. (Ref. 7) Guided tours are also offered to visitors of the "nature paradise" in order to raise awareness about indigenous and threatened nature. (Ref. 3).

Biodiversity hotspot on motorway junction
ANU/Arbeitskreis Natur- und Umweltschutz e.V., provided 09/10/2018


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Other
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Wetlands/bogs/fens/marshes

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Preservation of natural heritage


Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Protection of natural ecosystems

Project objectives

Preserving and maintaining a piece of the former marsh and its original biodiversity on a surface area of 3 ha in the area of this transport junction (Ref. 3), maintaining indigenous marsh plants on a former moor on a surface area of 10,000 sqm (Ref. 2) Preserving the habitat of indigenous species such as spiders, snakes, rare grass hoppers and lizards (Ref. 5) Expanding green spaces impaired by scrub encroachment (Ref. 6) Avoiding negative impacts resulting from the planned extension of the motorway junction (Ref. 6) Offering guided tours to interested parties to the nature paradise in order to raise awareness about indigenous nature (Ref. 3). Protecting endangered flora and fauna native to the area. (Ref. 7)

Implementation activities

While many species have disappeared resulting from the transformation of the former marsh, there are still some indigenous moor plants, such as orchids to be found on that stretch, such as the primrose. The working groups work towards preserving these habitats and maintaining the required conditions for the remaining species to survive and thrive. For instance, the remaining green stretches which are important for biodiversity, have been over the decades populated by pioneer tree species which endangered the survival of the orchids due to shadowing. Recognizing this danger, the working group combats bush and tree encroachment. Every year after the bloom of the orchids, they cut the grass manually and remove it since the swampy ground does not permit the use of larger machines and in winter, volunteers cut back the wood. The working group also offers guided tours to interested parties to the nature paradise in order to raise awareness for the indigenous nature (Ref. 2 and 3).

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Preserve and strengthen existing habitats and ecosystems
  • Preserve and strengthen habitat connectivity
  • Reduce negative impacts and avoid the alteration/damage of ecosystem
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect native species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect endangered species
  • Control and clean invasive alien species
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore native species
  • Clear and control invasive alien species
  • Restore ecological connectivity
  • Public engagement

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Citizen monitoring and review

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The whole initiative was initiated and has been carried out by volunteers forming part of the civil society association Nature and Environmental Protection for over two decades. Citizens are only involved as participants in excursions and recipients of knowledge about the biodiversity of the area (Ref. 2, 3, and 4). it is the typical line of work of the working group which was formed in 1989 by people willing to engage practically and manually to preserve and protect the nature in their natural heritage (Ref. 5 and 6). Impacts are assessed based on direct observation in on-site inspections of the lower nature conservation authority (of the area), the local government (Arnsberg) and the biological station (Ref. 6).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? No
... a local policy or strategy? No


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public regional budget
  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy
  • Donations

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of labour
  • Provision of other services
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased number of protection areas
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Increase in protected green space areas
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Increased protection of threatened species
  • Improved prevention or control of invasive alien species
  • Increased ecological connectivity across regeneration sites and scales
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Protection of natural heritage
  • Increased appreciation for natural spaces
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits
  • Unknown

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records


Biodiversity hotspot on motorway junction
ANU/Arbeitskreis Natur- und Umweltschutz e.V., provided 09/10/2018