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The Wahrsmannshof

Hands-on Lower Rhine

What's so special about pollarded trees? What is a little owl tube? Is there only gravel in a gravel bed? And what is going on under the water? Is the common noctule a bird or a butterfly or something else? And anyway, is there nowhere in the lovely protected landscape where you can get very close to the animals? Where you can ask questions and discover what makes the Lower Rhine landscape so unique? Yes, there is. The Wahrmannshof near Rees Sea cordially invites anyone interested - children, teenagers and adults, the able-bodied and the disabled - to discover and explore the animals and plants of the Lower Rhine and to experience it at close quarters. In the neighbouring pond and quarry lake, groups can examine animals, plants or the water quality, on foot with landing nets or collecting trays, in a wheelchair or on the 'Wilder Gans', a special research craft accessible to the disabled. In the barn that has been converted into a seminar room, the samples and finds can then be examined under the microscope or with special measuring probes. But it is not only the underwater world that is exciting here. The area around Wahrmannshof is a typical section of the original Lower Rhine landscape, with the old farm, the flat bodies of water, sheep pastures, meadow and pollarded willows, more or less the Lower Rhine in miniature just what it should ideally - from a nature conservation point of view - look like everywhere. For example, the characteristic pollarded trees, whose branches were used for lances, baskets or tool handles in days gone by, are cut regularly here so that they remain as precious habitats for various species of animal, such as the endangered little owl. Large tubes in trees also provide additional nesting help for the shy birds. The dry stone wall and the gravel bed in front of it simulate the habitat of the flowering edges of paths and fields that have become rare, and their various flowers and grasses provide food and protection to many insects. In 2013, Wahrmannshof was awarded the Climate Prize by RWE and the town of Rees for its sustainable education work. You can not only learn a great deal and actively help with the diverse programmes and events here, but you can also enjoy what is special about this place at the barbecue around the fire afterwards. Oh, and floodlights and bat detectors will help you in your search for the common noctule.

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