The Hamburg Wadden Sea Biosphere Reserve in northern Germany surrounds a small group of islands that lie at the mouth of the Elbe river near the town of Cuxhaven. In 1992 the site became part of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme.
In 1990 UNESCO recognised the Wadden Sea National Park on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein as a biosphere reserve. In 2005 the five inhabited Hallig islands (small undyked islands in the North Frisian Wadden Sea) were incorporated as a development zone.
One hundred kilometres south-east of Berlin there is a stretch of countryside that is unique in central Europe – Spree Forest, an area of wetlands that bears the influence of centuries of human influence yet still remains largely unspoilt.
Every year, thousands of migrating birds such as geese and cranes break their journey at Lake Schaalsee, where there is now a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Like the birds, visitors here will find tranquillity in a natural setting.
The biosphere reserve straddling the German-French border is marked by diverse mixed forests, towering rocks and romantic castle ruins – and the contrast between miles of forest and the open spaces of the winegrowing country.