On the Baltic Sea coast between Poland and Germany lies a very special jewel. The Szczecin Lagoon is home to a variety of habitats that are rarely represented in Central Europe. A diversity of habitats meets here in the Oder Delta: beech forests on cliffs, huge river deltas, riparian forests, extensive bogs, dry heathland and large forests with lakes line up like a string of pearls around the large expanse of the open water surface of the lagoon.
Diversity on land and water
The Oder Delta is the home for white-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla, the Wolf (Canis lupus) and the Otter (Lutra lutra). The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) returns, and a little further east, European bisons (Bison bonasus) freely roam the plains of West Pomerania. In addition, the Oder Delta is one of the most significant winter resting areas for waterfowls.
In the river valleys, both Odra and smaller ones, riparian forests have survived, in which wilderness can be found the richness of species especially of birds, reptiles and amphibians. In a large part of the area, due to the richness of nature, Natura 2000 sites have been established. Local farmers run a traditional economy, grazing cattle and horses on natural meadows.
Attractions of the region are also hidden under the water surface. Underwater photography enthusiast will find here the opportunity to meet with salmon (Salmo salar) during spawning, more and more often meets the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) and many accompanying species. The fish’s abundance is accompanied by species such as herons and cormorants.
Nature guides on both sides of the delta can help discover this unique treasure – on foot, by bike or by boat: Nature Guides offers.
The expanses of the Oder Delta offer a multitude of interesting landscapes, which can be explored particularly well in the large protected areas, like national parks, biosphere reserves, nature parks or landscape parks. Nevertheless, there are also beautiful places of special elements and with a high biodiversity worth discovering.
(1) Nature Park River Landscape Peenetal /Naturpark Flusslandschaft Peenetal (DE)
(2) Woliński National Park / Woliński Park Narodowy (PL)
(3) Nature Park Szczecin Lagoon/ Naturpark Stettiner Haff (DE)
(4) Świdwie Reserve / Rezerwat Przyrody Świdwie (PL)
(5) Szczecin Landscape Park „Puszcza Bukowa”/ Szczeciński Park Krajobrazowe „Puszcza Bukowa”
(6) Lower Oder Valley National Park/ National Park Unteres Odertal (DE)