Near-natural restoration methods

Near-natural restoration methods have been successfully executed on different sites for many years (e.g. Kirmer & Tischew 2006, Kirmer et al. 2012, Kirmer 2019). Choosing the right method depends on a variety of factors such as restoration target (e.g. erosion control, establishment of extensively used, near-natural sites, compensation), and given site conditions. As a rule of thumb, the method which will achieve the desired targets with the least effort should be chosen. Availability of machines and material, practicality, possible subsequent use, future maintenance, and costs must also be taken into consideration. Regional seed and plant material should always be used. Due to the species’ specific adaptations to their sites, donor sites need to be chosen carefully and should be comparable to the target site. Only then optimal adaptation to the target site and maximum restoration success can be ensured.

The needed material for restoration can be harvested at near-natural meadows within a defined area of origin via several methods. By applying these methods, the typical composition of plants in this specific natural area can be preserved and established on the target site. A summary of near-natural restoration methods is given below. More information can be found in the Information System of Nature-oriented greening measures (INB).

Sowing of seed mixures of native wild plants from certified propagation


Near-natural restoration methods are used in several research project at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences:

EU-LIFE Project VinEcoS: Optimizing Ecosystem Services in Viniculture facing Climate Change

Work package 2: Development of multifunctional seed mixtures containing regional wild plants for erosion protection and biodiversity enhancement

Interreg Project, Central Europe Program

Species-rich grassland as a source of biodiversity improvement (SALVERE)

Enhancement of the floristic diversity of species-poor grasslands in Natura 2000 areas

Habitat management and locations of grazing from Jurinea cyanoides in Saxony-Anhalt