They were once military bases at the epicentre 50 year war between the world’s two superpowers – they will soon become a haven for rare birds other animals.
The German government has announced plans to convert 62 disused military bases just west of Iron Curtain into nature reserves for eagles – woodpeckers – bats – and beetles.
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said: ‘We are seizing a historic opportunity with this conversion — many areas that were once no-go zones are no longer needed for military purposes.
‘We are fortunate that we can now give these places back to nature’.
For years military land in Germany has been opened up to wild animals (Klaus Matwijow, 1984)
Together the bases take up 31,000 hectares — that’s equivalent to 40,000 football pitches. Their conversion will see Germany’s total area of protected wildlife increase by a quarter.
After toying with the idea of selling the land off as real estate – the government opted instead to make a grand environmental gesture.