Conservation Project

The forest conservation project in Germany. Help save old-growth forests. Take over the sponsorship of your own protected area for the next 50 years and give yourself and nature a very special gift.

By nature, more than 90 percent of Germany would be covered by forest, most of it beech or mixed beech/oak forests.
These forests are characterized by long-lasting stability; disturbances in the form of storms or fire are alien to them. Many highly specialized animal and plant species have adapted to such permanent forests. Most of them depend on particularly old trees; the rare middle spotted woodpecker, for example, can only colonize beech forests when the trees are 200 years old or more. Ancient beech forests are the rainforests of Europe, and similar to the tropics, they are in very poor condition. Today, we no longer find any primeval forests in Germany, and the old trees are also becoming increasingly rare: beech forests from age 180 only account for 0.16 percent of the land area. And even these small remnant areas continue to be managed, so that in these old-growth forests there are usually only a third of the trees left. Deadwood, present in virgin forests at about 20,000 cubic meters of wood per square kilometer and an important habitat for 3,000 species of insects and fungi, is largely absent in managed forests.
Overall, the already small area continues to dwindle, as logging is allowed to continue even in nature reserves.

Project awarded by the United Nations

Unterstütze jetzt unser von den vereinten Nationen ausgezeichnetes Waldschutzprojekt in Deutschland.

Wohllebens Waldakademie

Booklet zum UrwaldProjekt

  • Ideale Ergänzung als Geschenk
  • Spannende Infos über Tiere, Pflanzen und Forschungsarbeiten im Projekt
  • Einblicke in unsere Arbeit
  • DIN A5
  • 40 Seiten
  • Gedruckt mit Bio-Farben 
  • 100 % Recyclingpapier
  • 8,90 Euro oder ab 50 

Jetzt bestellen

Wohllebens Waldakademie

Your guided tour in the conservation project

If you protect 75 m² or 95 m² or more, you can participate with a total of two people in a free guided tour of the protected area with our forest experts.


  • September 10, 2023 (Nohn, Eichenriesen & junge Wilde).
  • 08 October 2023 (Wershofen, Buchengiganten)
  • 05 November 2023 (Nohn, Eichenriesen & junge Wilde)
  • 21 January 2024 (Wershofen, Buchengiganten)
  • 24 March 2024 (Wershofen, Buchengiganten)

Attention: Since it is quite steep here in parts and we leave the paved paths, you should be good on your feet.

If you have to cancel a booked hike date at short notice, you are welcome to rebook for another date. A second rebooking is not possible. Thank you for your understanding!

Wohllebens Waldakademie

How does the conservation project work?

Already from an area of 1m² you can protect your own wilderness area. With the income, forest owners can compensate the lost income from timber harvesting and at the same time they lose their right of use for the next 50 years, so that the forest is consistently protected. The protection of the area is secured in the land register by a notary. The price starting from 3,65 € per square meter is a one-time cost for you at the time of purchase. There are no recurring costs within the 50 years! Would you like to make an important contribution to the protection of climate and biodiversity?

Wohllebens Waldakademie

Certificate by e-mail or post

Immediately after ordering, you will receive a forest protection certificate with the exact information about the location of your own protected area paperless as a PDF file. On your certificate you will find the exact GEO coordinates as well as pictures of your protected area. Alternatively you have the possibility to receive a certificate by mail. This will be printed on 100% recycled paper. In the order process you also have the possibility to give away the protected area and the certificate.

Wohllebens Waldakademie

Your own sanctuary, your own Waldretter page

After your order, your own Waldretter page will be created for your personal protected area. When you scan the QR code on your certificate with your smartphone, you will be taken to your own protected area page, which you can share with family, friends and relatives. There you will also find an interactive satellite map and all the important information about the size and location of your own forest plot.

We are currently developing new features that will be added on an ongoing basis.

Wohllebens Waldakademie

Schutz von Klima und Biodiversität

Alte Buchenwälder spielen eine wichtige Rolle im Klima- und Biodiversitätsschutz. Insbesondere alte, unberührte Laubwälder speichern große Mengen Kohlenstoff, der bei der Bewirtschaftung durch Holzernte und Holznutzung freigesetzt werden würde. Pro Quadratmeter des UrwaldProjekts werden voraussichtlich zusätzlich 50 KG CO₂ über die kommenden 50 Jahre gebunden. Damit entsprechen 20 Quadratmeter rund einer Tonne CO₂

Jetzt Wald retten

UrwaldProjekt FAQ
Here we answer your questions about the UrwaldProjekt
UrwaldProjekt FAQ
The UrwaldProjekt: Wilderness Protection for Companies
Support forest protection in Germany with your company. In doing so, you not only make an important contribution to the protection of biodiversity and the climate, but also benefit from extensive communication opportunities.
The UrwaldProjekt: Wilderness Protection for Companies
For forest owners
We offer you as a forest owner a way to protect your forest without having to forego income from timber harvesting. A successful model for nature & people. In this way, you become independent of the timber market and at the same time make an important contribution to the protection of climate and biodiversity.
For forest owners


Why beech forest?

By nature, Germany would be over 90 percent covered by forest, the majority of which would be beech or beech/oak mixed forests. Beech forests from the age of 180 today only account for 0.16 percent of the land area.  And even these small remaining areas are still managed, so that as a rule only a third of the trees remain in these old-growth forests. Particularly old, uncultivated beech forests are important partners in the fight against climate change. These forests also react less sensitively to the changes caused by climate change.

Does the primeval forest project make a contribution to climate protection?

Yes, the UrwaldProjekt makes an important contribution to climate protection. Old forests store large amounts of carbon in the soil in the long term. In managed forests, this carbon is released back into the atmosphere. (Luyssaert et al., 2008) Furthermore, such old forests massively cool their surroundings by evaporation of water. (Ibisch et al., 2018)

Is the development of the protected area observed?

Yes - We have been carrying out regular inventories in the protected area since 2018. In addition, further university research projects are carried out in the primeval forest project.

How is protection secured over 50 years?

An entry in the land register by a notary ensures that the project areas will remain protected for the next 50 years.


We want to make the project as transparent as possible. Immediately after ordering, the exact protected area is automatically measured geographically and visualized on a satellite map. Thus, every tenant sees exactly where his or her own protected area is located and can visit it at any time.

Will there be any additional costs for me?

No - the lease payment of 3,65 / 4,75 euros per square meter for the next 50 years is a one-time payment. There will be no further costs for you.

Can my company protect forest?

Yes, that's possible - check out our page for companies:

Forest protection for companies

Interactive map of the protected area

Do you have further questions?

We're happy to help!
Johanna, Patrick und Tobias sind verantwortlich für das UrwaldProjekt

Bei der Kontaktaufnahme werden deine Angaben zwecks Bearbeitung der Anfrage sowie für den Fall, dass Anschlussfragen entstehen, gespeichert. Weitere Informationen zum Datenschutz findest du in unserer Datenschutzerklärung.

News from the project

Jetzt wird’s richtig wild

Oktober 2023

Das UrwaldProjekt wächst weiter. Gute 17 Hektar, verteilt auf zwei Teilflächen, sind im Bergischen Land dazugekommen. Und die haben es in sich; in weiten Teilen der neuen Projektflächen hat seit fünfzig bis hundert Jahren keine Forstwirtschaft mehr stattgefunden. Und das sieht man dem Wald an, mächtige alte Buchen und Eichen mit einem Alter von über 200 Jahren lassen erahnen, wie wild die Mittelgebirge Deutschlands vor vielen tausend Jahren ausgeschaut haben. Trotz oder eher wegen des gesunden Waldes ist Totholz - essenziell wichtig für das Vorkommen tausender, oftmals bedrohter Arten - reichlich vorhanden. Wie viel genau und welche Bewohner noch auf ihre Entdeckung warten, werden die geplanten Forschungen zeigen.

Der Mittelspecht fühlt sich wohl unter den Alten

August 2023

Wir hatten es schon lange vermutet - jetzt konnte Jonas, unser Ornithologe, sicher nachweisen, dass der Mittelspecht sich in den UP-Flächen in Wershofen wohlfühlt. Lange dachte man, dass diese Spechtart nur in alten Eichenwäldern vorkommt. Tatsächlich braucht er aber vor allem für die Nahrungssuche rissige Baumrinden. Buchen bekommen diese meist erst in einem Alter von 140 - 160 Jahren. So alt werden sie in bewirtschafteten Wäldern aber nur sehr selten. Bei uns hingegen haben viele Buchen ein stattliches Alter erreicht, die sie auch interessant für den Mittelspecht machen.

United Nations honors protection project

February 2023

In January, Wohllebens Waldakademie's UrwaldProjekt was honored by the United Nations as one of the top 10 projects of the UN Decade for the Restoration of Forest Ecosystems. It was thus able to prevail against a large number of outstanding projects. With the project competition, the United Nations wants to highlight projects that are working harder to restore vital ecosystems. A great recognition!

New area for the UrwaldProjekt

November 2022

Signing of the contract with the small Eifel community of Nohn for a further 40 ha (400,000 square meters) of protected area. Only about 15 km as the crow flies from Wershofen, it is now possible to protect over 300-year-old oaks on an area of about 4 ha as a special feature. Directly adjacent to the "oak giants", the "young wild ones" are waiting for their chance to become the primeval forest of tomorrow again. With an age of about 120 - 180 years, the trees growing there are significantly older than an average German forest tree, but still far from their natural life expectancy. We think; great news for nature and thus all of us!

Opening Waldretter rail

October 2022

The UrwaldProjekt becomes even more experienceable. Over a total length of 14 km, the newly signposted Waldretter Trail repeatedly offers great distant views of the varied landscape of the Eifel, but above all impressive passages through parts of the primeval forest project.  You should plan at least four hours for the hike, as there are also some meters in altitude to overcome. For those who find this too much, there is also a shorter version of just under nine kilometers, which is posted on the komoot portal. At the project areas, short information signs tell you more about the respective area as well as about typical inhabitants of the primeval forest project. 

To the Waldretter trail

60 hectares and over 10,000 supporters

May 2022

The number of forest enthusiasts supporting the UrwaldProjekt has reached five figures for the first time! Over 10,000 people have already become forest protectors. In total, 60 hectares (600,000 square meters) of protected area have been collected. A great success in such a short time and a clear sign; ambitious forest protection in Germany is possible and wanted! Many thanks to all who are already involved! We know of no other project in Germany in which so many people have participated and achieved so much for the planet.

Students visiting

March 2022

International students from different universities accompany us on a tour of the project. This exchange is incredibly important to us. This time, it was particularly interesting to see how nature conservation is practiced in a completely different way abroad and how Germany's role in forest conservation is perceived worldwide.

Tree species diversity

November 2021

During an area inspection in a remote corner of the project, a small group of hearty mountain elms is found. Once a very typical companion to beech trees, this tree species has become an absolute rarity in the forest. A species of fungus, presumably imported from Asia, has been causing such distress to the trees since the beginning of the 20th century that this tree species could disappear from this planet altogether.

Rare guest

September 2021

Insane luck on a hike; a black stork glides elegantly over the tops of mighty beech trees some distance away. This rare inhabitant of rustic forests needs extensive forest areas with large, old trees to feel at home. A great sign for us that we are on the right track.

Flood disaster

June 2021

The terrible flood disaster occurred in the neighboring Ahr valley, costing many lives and leaving behind a devastated river valley. Wherever man has changed and shaped nature, e.g. by building roads, there is also great damage in our forest. On the project areas, however, the impressive resilience of nature is evident. Like a sponge, the old forest has absorbed the rain and the next day there are not even puddles. Forest protection is therefore also flood protection and thus human protection!

Lichen Mapping

May 2019

Burkhard Lee and Dorothee Killmann make a sensational discovery while mapping. Besides some very rare and endangered lichen species, they find a lichen species for which only one other occurrence is known worldwide; the Hunsrück Wart Lichen "Verrucaria hunsrueckensis".