South of Hannover, along the river Leine and below a true fairy-tale castle, the Marienburg, stretches a mosaic of fields, meadows, ponds and forests. A place for animal and plant species that are becoming increasingly rare in northern Germany.
Common kestrels breed under the rooves of farmhouses. Here they raise their chicks and hunt over meadows on the lookout for voles. Mute swans perform their graceful courtship displays and where the riverbed meanders through the landscape as a tributary, brilliant kingfishers hunt for little fish. At night fire salamanders wander to their spawning grounds to give birth – scenes that have hardly ever been filmed previously.
Even in the middle of the region’s capital, Hannover, the Leine is surprisingly wild. In the city alone, six beaver families have settled in.