Woeste nature reserve and moorland extraction area (Bad Sasse

Nature park / nature reserve

#deinsauerland / Outdooractive POIs / Woeste nature reserve and moorland extraction area (Bad Sasse

Where does the moor from Bad Sassendorf come from? And where does one of the largest tree frog populations in North Rhine-Westphalia live? Get on your bike and ride into the Woeste, you'll find out a lot more!

Naturschutzgebiet Woeste bei Bad Sassendorf

Naturschutzgebiet Woeste bei Bad Sassendorf



The Woeste is a nature reserve and is located in the lowlands of the Ahse between the Bad Sassendorf districts of Bettinghausen and Ostinghausen. Since October 18, 1999, the Woeste has been recognized by the Arnsberg district government as a nature reserve and as a component of the EU NATURA 2000 network of sites.

The Woeste is a lowland moor. These very nutrient-rich sites (ph-ratio between 3.2 and 7.5), also called rich bogs, include most of the bogs still growing today in Central Europe. Geologists estimate the age of the Woeste fen at about 10,000 years. The peat layer there is between 50 cm to 3 m. The landscape of the Woeste is characterized by its diversity. Open water areas, near-natural stream areas, peat bogs, tall sedge meadows, large reed beds, wet meadows and wet grasslands, fat pastures, arable land and field copses alternate there.

Originally, the green areas along the Ahse and the Woestegraben were used for livestock farming to provide milk and meat for the inhabitants of Osting and Bettinghausen. In 1969, the picture changed dramatically. With the discovery of black peat in the "Woeste Niedermoor" and its proven medicinal properties, the meadow areas took on a new significance. About 3000 cubic meters of lowland peat were extracted annually for spa use and further processed as natural peat treatments (baths, peat packs and peat kneading). Today only smaller quantities are extracted. In the therapy department "MedyWell" the processed peat is offered in the form of packs and for kneading.

In 1971, the first open water areas were created by the extraction of the peat and the backfilling of the peat pockets. Due to the formation of reed beds, agricultural use of the areas is no longer possible. The Woeste wetland provides an important habitat for many different animal and plant species. For example, the area is populated by marsh, meadow or hen harriers, tree hawks, sparrow hawks, snipe, red-backed shrike, gray buntings, rooks, wagtails, lapwings, cranes, curlews, spoonbills and green ducks, gray geese and muskrats. Among them are 28 species that are listed in the Red Lists of Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia. Protected species such as gargan and spoonbill ducks or the tree frog are just a few examples. New species are discovered every year. With the designation of the Woeste as a nature reserve and its recognition as a component of the EU's NATURA 2000 network of sites, the growing nature conservation significance of the Woeste fen was taken into account.

In recent years, the Woeste nature reserve has become a popular destination for excursions. Through numerous actions, such as the removal of fences or the installation of benches, an exciting nature learning and experience area has been created. Saline Bad Sassendorf GmbH also erected a wayside cross. Galloways or Scottish Highland cattle and water buffalo have been settled for grazing the areas.

Our special tip: By bike you can get quickly and comfortably "into the Woeste"! Take your time and - if possible - binoculars with you. Enjoy the fascinating view over the nature reserve from the new viewing platform. Information boards will give you information about some of the animal and plant species that can be seen there.


  • Landgasthof Vogt, Lange Straße 44, Bad Sassendorf-Bettinghausen
  • Cemetery Ostinghausen
  • Community center Ostinghausen, Schulstraße 2b


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