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Walk through the Wümme Greens near Ottersberg

Walk through the Wümme Greens near Ottersberg

At Ottersberg, about 20 kilometers from Bremen, the Wümme branches into an inland delta, which is also called Wümme Greens after its main vegetation as a grassland.

In the winter months, large areas are often covered with water for weeks, forming a bird sanctuary of international importance. The north arm, middle arm and south arm of the Wümme unite again at the northeast corner of the Bremen area to form a river, since the Holler dike creates limits to the Wümme Greens to the south right here for the protection of the Hollerland.

Cultivated and yet natural - the Wümme Greens

In spite of the mixed, but mostly dry weather we wanted to make use of our stay in Bremen for a long walk from Ottersberg through the Wümme Greens. In any case, waterproof footwear and rain gear are recommended for a long walk, even if the sun came out again and again during our walk. The meadows and dirt roads are sometimes swampy or at least wet, so the rubber boots may well be appropriate. The Wümme is in its entire course under nature or landscape protection, it is part of the European nature reserve Natura 2000. In a part of the Wümme Greens near Stemmen grazing alleys and wild hedges were removed to make the area attractive for the rare Great Bustard.

One of the largest reed areas in northern Germany

Below the last weir in Bremen-Borgfeld, the Wümme is influenced by the Tide of the North Sea, but prevented from threatening floods during storm surges by the Lesum barrage since 1974. In this section, the river forms the border between Lower Saxony and Bremen. From Kuhsiel at the Bremen dike called Wümmedam, the march behind it is called Blockland. At Trupe, the Wörpe flows from the north. Their former, natural mouth was further northwest next to the Truper Blänken. At Wasserhorst, the Wümme merges together with the Hamme to the Lesum river, which is just 10 km long. The tidal area of Wümme and Lesum covers one of the largest reed areas in northwest Germany.

Peat ship on the Wümme

In the area of ​​Seebergen / Hexenberg / Ebbensiek the north arm of the Wümme, so-called ship ditches in the Moordörfer Rautendorf, Schmalenbeck and Meinershausen branch off. They served to transport the peat to Bremen, as well as the Semken canal had done. In Kuhsiel the already mentioned cow trench branches off, which today extends southward to the Small Wümme, first mentioned in the in the 13th century already. At its junction with the Dobben it was the Bremen peat harbor until 1826 at the southeast corner of the Bürgerweide. On the western side of today's Bürgerpark, at that time between Bürgerweide and Bürgerweide-Kämpen, the approximately 3.5 kilometer-long peat canal with the peat harbor was created between 1817 and 1826. The routes of the peat ships led to the Hamme, the Semkenfahrt canal or the Wörpe to the Wümme, from here passing the new Semkenfahrt to the peat channel. After the development of the moor areas by the narrow-gauge railway Bremen-Tarmstedt and the railway line Stade-Osterholz-Scharmbeck in the year 1911, no peat ships were going to Bremen anymore.

Sources of origin, conservation and leisure

The source of the Wümme lies in the highest part of the Lüneburg Heath in the nature reserve Lüneburger Heide south of Niederhaverbeck. Just a few kilometers from the source the Este origns, which, however, flows into the Elbe. From the Wilseder mountain as the largest source creek the Haverbeeke joins, which combines 1.5 km west of Niederhaverbeck with the Wümme. The Wümme from there flows first through natural lowlands. It then flows through Scheeßel and Rotenburg, to whose development once also the mills on the Wümme contributed a lot.

Just  the Tide area of the river is navigable by bigger ships, but is almost only driven by private boats. The paddling area extends much further upstream to Lauenbrück. The Wümme cycle path runs on both sides of the waterway or behind the dikes, further up the river until the source off the river.

Please read as well:

Hike through the Ochtrum lowlands near Brokhuchting
Bremen - Hike along Weser to the historical market place

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