The Schaalsee Biosphere Reserve is a 310 km2 protected area, located in northern Germany between the metropolitan areas of Hamburg, Lübeck and Schwerin - characterised by moors and lakes, elds, pastures, wet meadows as well as beech forests.

Schaalsee is a biosphere reserve where migratory birds nd refuge, where shepherds and their sheep shape the landscape, and where the community is committed to transformative and inspiring action to celebrate life. UNESCO and Volkswagen have joined existing efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, while local communities and scientists are working together to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding Schaalsee biodiversity.

Listen to the podcast to learn more about sustainable livestock farming in a biosphere reserve.

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podcast Schalsee
This podcast presents sustainable livestock farming in the Schaalsee Biosphere Reserve.

Experiencing nature and culture

Within the biosphere reserve you can also visit the monastery and beach of Zarrentin, or explore the swamp trail, which traverses a protected peat bog.


A stopover for migratory birds

Over 263 species of birds rest, nest or spend the winter around the lakes in the biosphere reserve. The reserve is also home to 55 species of dragonflies and over 1,000 species of mushroom.


Over 20 lakes

The largest lake in the biosphere reserve is the eponymous Schaalsee, which covers 24 km2, followed by the Röggeliner See (1.7 km2) and the Mechower See (1.6 km2). Other lakes and many small bodies of water are also found in this wetland biosphere reserve.


22 communities

More than 10,000 people live in the biosphere reserve’s 22 communities. The traces of many generations are visible in the avenues and hedge-lined paths of its picturesque villages and small towns.



This large auditorium located in the biosphere reserve has a total area of 1,000 m2 and offers space for 300 people.
Here, you can explore the exhibition ’Tunnel of Life’ and a digital photo book, which offer insights into the life of Schaalsee Biosphere Reserve.