24 Liesetal und Hilmesberg - Liese Valley and Hilmesberg

A mosaic of open land and forest habitats traditionally characterises the forest and meadow valleys of the Sauerland. Some valleys have recently lost their diversity because of land use changes. In the Liese Valley, however, you can still experience this diversity today.

Liese Valley (Werner Schubert)
Liese Valley (Werner Schubert)

Composition of habitats

The Liese Valley, a meadow valley surrounded by woods

The Liesetal Nature Reserve is a low mountain valley with an extremely charming landscape. From above the village of Liesen, near Hallenberg in the south of the Medebach Basin, it runs as a belt of species-rich meadows and pastures for a distance of around 4.5 kilometres up into the wooded Rothaar Mountains. In the spring, the moist and wet grasslands of the Liese Valley are a sea of white to pale pink Cuckoo Flower blooms, while in the forest you will find swathes of Wood Anemone, Yellow Star-Of-Bethlehem and Coralroot.

As from May, numerous other colourful flowers appear in the valley's grasslands: Globeflower, Broad-leaved Marsh Orchid and Black Devil's Claw. Large areas are covered by blooming Buttercups and Ragged Robin. With luck you will also discover some stands of the rare Wig Knapweed. Another fascinating plant is the Greater Broomrape, a parasite that you will see often in the area. In early September, the endangered autumn crocus blooms in almost the entire valley.

In the diversity of habitats, rare butterflies like the Scarce Copper, the Pearly Heath and Marbled White feed on the nectar of the wealth of flowers, which also serve as food plants for their caterpillars.

Bird species of the stream are Grey Wagtail and Dipper, while the Black Stork only visits to seek its food. Red-backed Shrike and Whitethroat populate the hedgerows, preferably those with thorn bushes. In the forest you can find Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers. Occasionally Red Deer can be observed in the Liese Valley, even in the daytime. A small geological outcrop in the Liese Valley provides interesting insights into the prehistoric animal world. There is an information board set up by the Geological Survey.

Hilmesberg, guardian of a relict habitat

East of the Liese Valley rises the 634-metre-high Hilmesberg Mountain. Below the summit ridge is one of the last mountain heaths of the Medebach Basin, which is surrounded by coppice forests. On this heath, the three character species Heather, Blueberry and Cranberry grow. This habitat is especially beautiful in late summer and autumn, when the heather blooms bright purple. From the Hilmesberg summit you have a beautiful view of the Rothaar mountain range and the Medebach Basin.

Contact: Biologische Station Hochsauerlandkreis