Raised bogs, called ombrotrophic bogs, are acidic, wet habitats that are poor in mineral salts and are home to flora and fauna that can cope with such extreme conditions. Raised bogs, unlike fens are exclusively fed by precipitation and from mineral salts introduced from the air and they differ in character from blanket bogs which are much thinner and occur in wetter, climatic zones. Raised bogs are threatened by peat cutting and pollution by mineral salts from the surrounding land. There are hardly any raised bogs today that are living and growing. The last great raised bog regions are found in western Siberia, the term raised bog derives from the fact that this type of bog rises in height over time as a result of peat formation. They are like sponges of peat moss, full of water, in Germany, the term Hochmoor, strictly refers only to the classical, lens-shaped bogs of northwest Germany. A living raised bog needs a moist, balanced climate in which to grow, the quantity of precipitation has to be greater than the water losses through discharge and evaporation.
In addition, the precipitation must be spread through the year. Raised bogs in Europe have been developing for about 11,000 years, since the beginning of the Holocene, as far as their origins are concerned, a distinction is made between lake mires or siltation-formed raised bogs and mire-formed raised bogs. The former emerged in a secondary process after the silting up of lakes or oxbows, at first, fens emerged under the influence of groundwater. Oxygen deficiencies and high acidity in the constantly moist substrate inhibited the decomposition of plant parts. Thus the raised bog rises very slowly above the level of the groundwater level, by contrast, mire-formed raised bogs, are created directly on the mineral substrate of in low-salt area without having been initially formed as fens. The formation of a raised bog is a very slow process. Furthermore, there are a number of transitional and intermediate bogs, the main constituent of the peat are the rootless peat mosses, that only slowly grow in height, whilst at the same time the lower layer becomes peat as the air is excluded.
Depending on the location, various species of peat moss are involved in making the raised bogs. The growth rate of the layer is only about a millimetre per year. Growing bogs can be divided into two layers, the acrotelm is the upper part and includes the vegetation layer and the bog floor. Here fresh organic substances are created by the growth and dying of plant elements, the catotelm is the underlying water-saturated part with less biological activity
The Our is a river in Belgium and Germany. It is a tributary of the river Sauer/Sûre. Its total length is 78 kilometres, the source of the Our is in the High Fens in south-eastern Belgium, near Manderfeld. It flows southwards, more or less along the German-Belgian border, the historic town of Vianden lies on the Our. The Our empties into the Sauer in Wallendorf, the river rises in the eastern Ardennes and western Eifel on Belgian soil. Its source near the village of Losheimergraben lies northeast of the Eichelsberg mountain at 643 m near the B265, just a few hundred metres away is the source of the River Kyll. The Our initially follows the B265, which is the Belgian-German state border, the river continues alternating between Belgium and Germany. It flows mainly north to south but meanders in places. For the section where it runs along the German-Luxembourg border the Our is a jointly managed Condominium, unilateral sovereignty only begins at the respective shore. In its upper reaches between Germany and Belgium, the border lies, as is normal on the thalweg of the river.
The border village of Vianden, one of the most important tourist resorts in Luxembourg, the Our Valley Route is a circular route that runs through Belgium and North Luxembourg. Especially worth seeing is the section between Manderfeld and Lieler, where the route follows the Our almost all the way and it runs inter alia past Reuland Castle and the Europa Monument at the German-Belgian-Luxembourg tripoint. Other villages are, The Our is impounded north of Vianden by the Our Dam and forms the lower basin of the Vianden Pumped Storage Plant
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres, with about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular destination in the world. Germanys capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, other major cities include Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Leipzig. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity, a region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period the Germanic tribes expanded southward, beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation, in 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire.
After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic, the establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and the Holocaust. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, in 1990, the country was reunified. In the 21st century, Germany is a power and has the worlds fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP. As a global leader in industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds third-largest exporter and importer of goods. Germany is a country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled. It upholds a social security and universal health system, environmental protection. Germany was a member of the European Economic Community in 1957. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999, Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD.
The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world, the English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz popular, derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- people, the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a mine in Schöningen where three 380, 000-year-old wooden javelins were unearthed
The Eifel is a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate and the south of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, the Eifel is part of the Rhenish Massif, within its northern portions lies the Eifel National Park. The Eifel lies between the cities of Aachen to the north, Trier to the south and Koblenz to the east and it descends in the northeast along a line from Aachen via Düren to Bonn into the Lower Rhine Bay. In the east and south it is bounded by the valleys of the Rhine, to the west it transitions in Belgium and Luxembourg into the geologically related Ardennes and the Luxembourg Ösling. In the north it is limited by the Jülich-Zülpicher Börde, within Germany it lies within the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, in BeNeLux the area of Eupen, St. Vith and Luxembourg. Its highest point is the cone of the Hohe Acht. Originally the Carolingian Eifelgau only covered the region roughly around the sources of the rivers Ahr, Kyll.
Its name was recently transferred to the entire region. Individual mountain chains, up to 700 m, such as the Schneifel and High Fens, run through the western part of the plateau. The rivers draining into the Moselle and Meuse, such as the Our, Ahr and Rur, have cut deep into the edge of the Eifel and formed larger valleys. The Eifel covers an area of 5,300 km² and is divided into the North and South Eifel. It is further divided into several natural regional landscapes, some with further subdivisions, there are several distinct chains within the Eifel. The northernmost parts are called North Eifel including Rur Eifel the origin of the river Rur, High Fens, the northeastern part is called Ahr Hills and rise north of the Ahr river in the district of Ahrweiler. South of the Ahr is the High Eifel, with the Hohe Acht being the highest mountain of the Eifel, in the west, on the Belgian border, the hills are known as Schneifel, rising up to 698 m. Also in the west, by the Belgian and Luxembourg border, the southern half of the Eifel is lower.
It is cut by rivers running north-south towards the Moselle. The largest of these is the Kyll, and the hills on either side of river are called the Kyllwald. In the south the Eifel is concluded by the Voreifel above the Moselle, since 2004 about 110 km² of the Eifel within the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have been protected as the Eifel National Park nature reserve
Eifel National Park
The Eifel National Park is the 14th national park in Germany and the first in North Rhine-Westphalia. The aims of the Eifel National Park accord with those set out by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, IUCN. These require that at least 75 percent of the parks area must be left to develop naturally - i. e. must not be given over to human use - within 30 years of the foundation of the park. Aims and executive bodies are laid down in the National Park Regulation, the relatively young national park lies in the north of the Eifel region between Nideggen in the north, Gemünd in the south and the Belgian border in the southwest. The legal decree by the state that lays the foundation for the park has been in force since 1 January 2004, an area of 110 square kilometres is covered by deciduous and coniferous woods, lakes and open grassland. One large contiguous stretch of forest with a percentage of beech woods is the region known as the Kermeter. This forested area is accessible and offers a number of interesting walks.
The Eifel National Park is home to over 7,100 animal, a total of 1,300 species of beetle alone have been discovered in its woods. Amongst the other forms are wildlife in the park are the wildcat, the stork, the middle spotted woodpecker. Thanks to exploitation of the forests, especially for the production of charcoal and it was the Prussians in the 19th century who planted large parts of the Eifel with spruce. The planting of this type of tree was further encouraged after the Second World War, spruce trees grow faster than many species of deciduous tree and enable more rapid reforestation. Because, following its designation as a park, nature was left to itself in many areas. This is a process, albeit one that needs to be monitored. In a timely fashion, it helps to prevent the spread of conifer woods outside the national parks, the repopulation of the southern part of national park area with beeches is being gently encouraged. This involves a degree of so-called initial planting, but there are areas that need no more intervention.
The beech trees thrive well in shade and their natural rejuvenation may be found today beneath the spruce trees, nevertheless, it will be several decades before the beech is once again the dominant species. The target of the park is to reach protection and preservation without intervention on 75% of the area of the national park within 30 years of the creation of the national park. 10 years after the founding of the national park 58% of the area is already realised, forest development activities still take place particularly in the spruce-dominated south
The High Fens are the largest nature reserve or park in Belgium, with an area of 4,501.2 hectares, it lies within the German-Belgian natural park Hohes Venn-Eifel, in the Ardennes. Its highest point, at 694 metres above sea level, is the Signal de Botrange near Eupen, a tower 6 metres high was built here that reaches 700 metres above sea level. In 1966, the European Council awarded the Diploma of Conservation to the High Fens, for their ecological value. The High Fens, established as a reserve in 1957, with their relief and unique location, consist mainly of raised bogs. The provincial capital of Liège is to its west, the German border is to the east, the park stretches between Eupen in the north, Monschau in the east, Spa in the west and Malmedy in the south. It stretches north of Malmedy as far as Eupen and marks the end of the Ardennes proper and it is contiguous with the Eifel hills, which stretch east from the German border to form the large Deutsch–Belgischer Naturpark. Large urban centres in the vicinity of the reserve are Eupen, Spa, part of the High Fens reserve remains closed during the spring breeding season of the endangered black grouse.
During the summer there is a risk of fire in the forest area, boardwalks cross the bogs, permitting access across these areas. Paths lead to areas of the park, and there are signposts to guide visitors through the park. The nature reserve of the High Fens is coordinated under the Nature Division, the reserve is one of the wettest and coldest parts of Belgium. It is frequently shrouded in mist and low cloud and it has a subalpine climate with strong winds and fierce winters, which are occasionally subarctic. The Fagnes plateau intercepts clouds brought by the prevailing Atlantic winds, beneath the fragile composition of the overlying soils are rocky beds and clay that prevent infiltration of water and thus create the conditions for wetlands and bogs. The highest and lowest annual rainfall recorded are 2,024 millimetres and 762 millimetres respectively, the maximum snowfall recorded at Signal de Botrange was 115 centimetres in 1953. The maximum number of frost days in a year is reported to be 158 days, the lowest temperature recorded was −23.6 °C in 1942, but it was −25.2 °C in 1952 at Baraque-Michel.
Several rivers have their sources in the High Fens, the Vesdre, Hoëgne, Gileppe, Eau Rouge, Amblève, Kyll, in winter all the water sources freeze into snow making the High Fens one of the best ski resorts in Belgium. During winter the swamps appear as if wrapped in white fluffy snow shawl, the region has been zoned under a regulation of 1992 into specific zones, keeping in view the access areas provided for visitors and tourists. The areas are allocated to three zones, B, C, and D, zone C can be visited only accompanied by a guide authorised by the park administration. However no access to this zone is allowed from mid-March to late June, when an endangered species, zone D is a totally protected reserve area, with no access to the public