Behaviour in the Biosphere Reserve

Wanderung über die Binnendüne Klein Schmölen im UNESCO-Biosphärenreservates Flusslandschaft Elbe. © F. Nessler

We look forward to welcoming you to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe River Landscape in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The wide floodplain landscape is ideal for anyone looking for peace and quiet and wants to experience varying nature. Between Boizenburg, Lübtheen and Dömitz, hiking and adventure trails as well as regional and supraregional cycle paths invite you to engage in outdoor activities. Water enthusiasts will find a number of routes in the Biosphere Reserve on the Elbe and its tributaries with staggered traffic regulations. A high degree of consideration is required to preserve the beauty and ecological value of the Elbe river landscape. Intact nature is the asset of the Elbe valley.

Please observe the rules and actively support the protection of plants and animals in the Elbe River Landscape!

Paddling, rafting and boating

Paddelgruppe auf der Sude im UNESCO-Biosphärenreservates Flusslandschaft Elbe. © JAW e.V.
group of canoes on the stream Sude

Water bodies, except for federal waterways, may not be navigated by motor-driven watercraft or models. Due to the valuable natural features, many tributaries of the Elbe and also their riparian areas are designated as the biosphere reserve's care zone. According to the Act on the Biosphere Reserve Landscape Elbe River Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and on the Amendment of other Acts über das Biosphärenreservat Flusslandschaft Elbe Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [pdf 0.2 MB] the following navigation regulations apply here to protect the particularly valuable habitats:

  • The Elbe and the Müritz-Elde waterways as well as the Sude between Brömsenberg and Gößlow are navigable all year round.
  • From 1 March to 30 June each year, flowing waters such as the Sude and Löcknitz are not navigable.
  • Navigation on the Schaale is prohibited all year round.

Mooring on the banks is only permitted at the boat mooring places shown on the  maps  [pdf 1.3 MB].


Buhnenfeld an der Elbe bei Niedrigwasser mit Anglern auf einer Buhne. © D. Foitlänger
Buhnenfeld an der Elbe bei Niedrigwasser

The most important regulations, in order to disturb the sensitive flora and fauna as little as possible and to give the fish the opportunity to develop, are as follows: 

Fishing Rest Zones: Fishing is only permitted outside the sections specified in the maps.
Access to fishing spots: On visible paths, or if not available, by the shortest route from the car park, road or path to the water. Fishing rest areas may not be entered or crossed. 
Walking on the river banks: On the Sude, Schaale, Krainke, Rögnitz and Löcknitz from the respective access points. On the Elbe additionally 300 m each to the left and right. The open, sandy groyne sections generally during low water in the entire shore area.
Use of weather protection devices: During fishing, anglers' tents, umbrella tents, throw-over tents without a waterproof floor are temporarily permitted.

Photography and Drones

Besucher fotografieren und beobachtungen vom Weg aus im UNESCO-Biosphärenreservates Flusslandschaft Elbe.. © D. Foitlänger
Experience nature without disturbing it.


It is best to always photograph and film from the path, and in the Biosphere Reserve's core and care zones only from the path and without disturbing animals or plant life. Nature AND people benefit from these golden rules.

If the photo and film projects go beyond individual personal projects within this framework, permission is required. All that is required is an informal request with a description of the project by email to:  The biosphere reserve office will then check whether nature conservation and the film project are compatible.

In principle, the biosphere reserve is not a setting for feature films, music or commercials, and filming may only be carried out in the biosphere reserve's core and care zones if it is not possible to do so elsewhere and if it relates to the nature conservation issue. Here, too, the first priority is to avoid disturbing the fauna and flora.


Drohne in der Luft © E. Dornblut
The use of drones is prohibited over much of the protected area.


In order to give all animals in the biosphere reserve the necessary rest and to preserve the last retreat possibilities, the use of flying objects, such as drones, paragliders, model aircraft or other aircraft over a large part of the protected area is prohibited. This is regulated by the  Act on the Biosphere Reserve Landscape Elbe River Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (§ 7 para. 2 No. 16) [pdf 0.2 MB].

According to this law, it is not allowed to let drones take off and land in the maintenance and core zones of the biosphere reserve. The operation of drones over European bird sanctuaries and sites of Community importance according to the Habitats Directive is also prohibited (§ 21b para. 1 no. 6 of the Air Traffic Regulations). This means that the use of drones is not permitted over more than 75% of the area of the Elbe River Landscape Biosphere Reserve M-V. Animals do not know these foreign bodies in the sky. Many species flee, use up important fat reserves or leave their breeding grounds.

Further information on the use of drones can be found in the "Clear rules for the operation of drones" on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

Aufsteigende Feuerwerkskörper mit gleichzeitigen Licht- und Schalleffekten können zu Störungen von Vögeln führen. © D. Foitlänger
Rising fireworks with simultaneous light and sound effects.


Fireworks not only enjoy great popularity at New Year' s Eve, but are also increasingly carried out during the year on private occasions or at major events.
The performance of fireworks can be associated with significant adverse effects on bird life. The Schaalsee-Elbe Biosphere Reserve Office, as the lower nature conservation authority, must ensure that European bird species are not significantly disturbed during the breeding, rearing, moulting, wintering and migration periods.
To ensure that planned fireworks are compatible with the requirements of nature conservation law, applications for fireworks that are not planned for New Year's Eve must be submitted to the Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales. This then involves the relevant nature conservation authority, in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe River Landscape M-V which is the Biosphere Reserve Office Schaalsee-Elbe.

Biosphere reserves are popular vacation and excursion destinations. At the top of the visitors' list is an undisturbed nature experience with exciting animal observations and relaxing excursions. Therefore, certain rules of conduct apply in the core and maintenance zone of the biosphere reserve for your own safety and for the protection of the animal and plant species. You will also find corresponding information signs on site:

Do not leave the pathways in the core and care zones.

Behave quietly and considerately.

Your chance of observing animals will increase!

Please keep your dog on a leash !
Even the most loyal four-legged friend sometimes feels queasy when faced with a hare, fox or deer. Spare the wild animals the dangerous chase and your dog the danger of disappearing into the forest.

Do not litter!
Litter is not only an unpleasant sight. Drink cans or plastic strings can become a deadly trap for wildlife. Take back all the things you have brought with you.

Do not take anything from nature!

In the core and care zones, plants and animals are subject to special protection. Picking mushrooms and berries for personal use is permitted in small quantities as long as the species are not specially protected.

Lighting a fire is not permitted!

Only camp on designated camping sites!

Camping in the wilderness is not permitted.

Caution! Nature also means danger!
In the biosphere reserve's core and care zones, falling trees and branches must be expected at all times. Enter at your own risk (§ 28 Entering the Forest, Forest Act M-V).

Do not use drones.
Air sovereignty in the biosphere reserve belongs to the birds. It is forbidden to let drones take off and land in the biosphere reserve's maintenance and core zones. Birds and other animals perceive them as a threat. Operating drones over European bird sanctuaries and sites of community importance under is also prohibited under the Habitats Directive.