In Behrensdorf you can find one of the last natural Baltic Sea regions with dunes, barrier beaches, lagoons and rare plants such as sea kale, sea thistle and marshmallow. The nature sanctuary which lies directly on the Baltic Sea is approx. 108 ha in size. It stretches to the south-western shore of the Kleiner Binnensee lake, and includes the salty wetlands, the salt marshes and swampy meadows near the dikes and the section of beach beyond them with embankments and dunes. The area serves as a breeding ground for ducks, rails and gulls. Swans, geese and ducks come looking for food, to rest and moult. In winter a peregrine falcon can be seen hunting. It has its nesting site on Behrensdorf's "Neuland" lighthouse. The sea eagle from the neighbouring Großer Binnensee lake is often to be seen circling over the Kleiner Binnensee lake. The nature sanctuary can be explored on foot or by bicycle using the footpaths.
Kronswarder and the south eastern part of Großer Binnensee
The nature sanctuary is approx. 151 ha in size. It comprises the eastern part of the Großer Binnensee lake, the adjoining, natural siltation areas and the forested slopes. The biotopes formed by the spit of land and barrier beach at Kronswarder between the Großer Binnensee lake and the Baltic Sea are part of the nature sanctuary. Bird species such as reed warblers, Savi's warblers, cormorants and bitterns are native to the reedy areas. You can even see a sea eagle here. The waters offer an important area for food, moulting and wintering for waterfowl such as gadwalls, shelducks and tufted ducks. The diversity of the landscape offers threatened species of flora and fauna the chance to survive.
Nature conservation is given high priority in Hohenfelde. A beach as nature intended: unadulterated. Two kilometres of cliffs followed by two kilometres of flat beach with biotopes. This is what Hohenfelde has to offer at Hohwacht Bay: nature in its purest form. We are very simply rich in stones.
During the summer months there are guided excursions along the beach to teach people about the stones and the plants. The tours are organised by the nature-lovers' association, NaturErleben Hohenfelde e.V.
The nature sanctuary, Sehlendorfer Binnensee, is situated in the community of Blekendorf / Sehlendorf. The biologically most interesting parts of this nature sanctuary can be very well viewed from the footpath and via additional visitor management structures such as two platforms. Sehlendorfer Binnensee is the only lagoon in Hohwacht Bay with an open connection to the Baltic Sea. For that reason, the salt content in the lake rises whenever water from the Baltic Sea flows in and it falls when water levels are lower. These changing salt levels are crucial for the very individual world of fauna and flora in this sanctuary. NABU (Nature Conservation Society) which looks after the area, offers guided tours for larger groups during the season on request.
The "Wild Pastures" belonging to the foundation-rich state of Schleswig-Holstein, are maintained all the year round by sturdy quadrupeds. These animal conservationists graze the wide expanses in the wild thereby ensuring that the region's biological diversity is maintained. They are weather-hardy, frugal and self-reliant throughout the year. There are trails to follow leading through the "Wild Pastures" with direct encounters with the wild cattle and sheep.
„Northern part of Lake Selent“
The nature sanctuary at the north end of Lake Selent covers a quarter of the lake. This part is home to many, in some cases very rare animal and plant species. For the tufted duck, for example, this is the largest moulting site in central Europe. While they are moulting, the ducks are unable to fly and therefore especially in need of protection. But you can also find cormorants, cranes and grey geese here. Lake Selent has now become part of the feeding ground for several pairs of sea eagles.
You can get especially good views of the nature sanctuary from the Seekrug and Pülsen bathing spots. At Gildeplatz in Giekau (on the way out of the town in the direction of Dransau) you can get a particularly good view over Giekauer bay.
Please be sure to respect the following rules in the nature sanctuary:
1.) Keep to the paths in the nature sanctuary.
2.) Do not damage or pick any plants.
3.) Do not set any animals free and do not take any animals out of the sanctuary.