1. Location

The pits Dixförda I and II of the Elster-Kies plant are situated between the communities of Lindwerder, Dixförda and Steinsdorf in the administrative district of Wittenberg; approx. 80 km south-west of Potsdam. The next large town along the B187 is Jessen, on the Black Elster river. The pits are found on the edge of the Breslau-Magdeburd-Bremer glacial valley (formed during the Saale ice age), part of the North German lowlands.

2. Overview of Mining and Recultivation

Mining was carried out via dry and wet extraction procedures. The Dixförda I site (quarry fields I and III) is already closed, and today a lake of 5 ha serves as a recreational facility for bathers and anglers. Annually, a surface of 4 - 5 ha is mined at Dixförda II. In addition to the sandy and loamy top layers, which reach a depth of 10 to 35 m over the whole area, the natural sand and gravel is also mined. In the area, there are also layers of clay, loamy and silty sands. 

In the mining fields (IV, V, VI) of the Dixförda II pit, the following recultivation measures, amongst others, have been anticipated and in part already implemented (2012):

  • Field shrubs of various types / Reforestation with native species
  • Bodies of standing water of various types (recreational lake, scenic lake, biotope lake, fishing lakes, pools on raw soil)
  • Pioneer, marsh and silting vegetation
  • Grassland, mesophilic as meadows
  • Ruderal meadows, persistent
  • Special biotopes (piles of stones, steep banks)
  • Sports, games and recreational areas
  • Field usage, if possible subdivided

The planned recultivation area will eventually amount to approx. 160 ha. A concentration of measures has taken place particularly in the southern part of mining field V (Dixförda II).

3. Conservation areas:

  • Natura 2000 area (4144-301) "Korgscher and Steinsdorfer Busch", 3 km East
  • Natura 2000 area (4143-401) "Glücksburger Heide", 2.8 km Northwest
  • Nature landscape protected area (319667) "Arnsdorfer-Jessener-Schweinitzer Berge", 1.4 km West

4. Special projects:

The gravel pit offers room for roosts for one of the largest European inland populations of Whooper Swans. At the start of 2013, up to 1120 individuals were counted. Together with our partner BirdLife, the behavioural patterns and staging points of this rare population will be studied in further detail in a two-year project.

Opis siedliska, flory i fauny: 

A) Habitats present: see biotope types

B) Species to be encouraged (LBP 2011) include:

  • Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita)
  • European Green Toad (Bufo viridis)
  • Moor Frog (Rana arvalis)
  • Beaver (Castoridae)
  • Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
  • Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

C) Total species (LBP 2011):

  • Mammals: 2
  • Birds:  Breeding birds: 75, visiting birds: 19 migratory birds/ winter visitors; plus 22 breeding season visitors
  • Amphibians: 10
  • Dragonflies: 19
  • Grasshoppers: 19
  • Ground beetles: 21
  • Reptiles: 2
  • Butterflies: 16
  • Plants: 21 (selected valuable species)

D) Biotope types (Fields I,III,IV, V, VI/ LBP 2011-2012):

  • Spoil
  • Raw soil
  • Rinsing surface
  • Reeds
  • Grassland
  • Forest
  • Garden
  • Fields
  • Ruderal meadows
  • Bodies of water
  • Open areas
  • Silting zones
  • Groves
  • Development
  • Fixed streets