© DB AG / Faruk Hosseini

Natural river courses for biodiversity

Rivers cross our land like veins, which is why we are committed to restoring as many river courses to their natural state as possible. In doing so, we ensure that the course of each river regains its natural dynamics and that the riverbanks can develop into valuable habitats for many different animal and plant species. 

Floodways for greater biodiversity

For example, when building the new Berlin-Nuremberg line (VDE8), we created nine floodways in Maintal (near Wiesen) as a compensatory measure. These floodways ensure that water is optimally distributed across the landscape during flooding and restore the land’s original retention capacity in this section of the river. The newly created ground areas were sowed using the Heudrusch method. This involves harvesting seeds from selected donor plots in the surrounding area and spreading these over the new plots. In contrast to conventional lawn seed mixtures, this method creates extensive ecologically valuable biotopes with native vegetation. 

Numerous other watercourses along the route of this major project were also returned to their natural state. Here, we created both deep and shallow areas within the bodies of water, thereby returning the watercourses to a more natural state and improving the habitat for plants and animals.