Near-natural re-design of ditch systems

Due to anthropocentric influence there are many ditch systems in the floodplain. For species of near-natural floodplains these water courses often are the only remaining habitats. The ditches however frequently don’t have any near-natural structures, they are threatened from silting or they are overgrown by shrubs and trees.

The widening and deepening in sections of these ditches can transform silted or monotonous ditches into diverse water courses. Additionally the dredging of deeper sinks which even don’t dry out in hot summers will provide habitats for water-bound species.

The reconstruction measures are planned at five ditches on a length of altogether 2.7 km. 

Municipality Durmersheim:

  • Ditch in the Heilwald,
  • Ditch in the area "Bruchwiesen“


  • Ditch in the area "Bachstück“

Town of Rastatt:

  • Rastatter Ried

Aim of the measure

Along the diverse ditches reeds will develop and blossomy tall herb communities will provide new habitats for typical species. Since the ditches now have a permanent flow of water they improve the conditions for the weatherfish and for the yellow-bellied toad. Even endangered snail species such as the narrow and the bulbous whorl snail will benefit from these measures.

Click on the weatherfish to hear children explaining its way of breathing and how it can survive even without water.