Spring Woods of the Eifel

Spring really has sprung !  …at least here around Aachen and in the sheltered woods and glens of the Eifel, an upland plateau area which lies between Aachen and the river Mosel. This is a great time of year to be out and about in nature in the region’s extensive forests. I love the succession of textures and colours as trees emerge from their winter sleep to clothe the landscape in a rich, vivid green; flowers come into bloom and pollinating insects and birds get busy about their business.  Here are a few scenes from around the Eifel region which chart the annual progress of spring…

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Willows; from the Vennbahn near Walheim

In the Mosel Valley:

Naturally regenerating scrub woodland of blackthorn, birch, hawthorn and wild cherry adds form and texture to the steep valley slopes once occupied by vineyards. The young woods provide valuable new habitats and echo to the sounds of spring birdsong…

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Heimbach:

Heimbach is an ancient settlement at the gateway to the Eifel National Park. From the vantage point of the restored castle keep, there are great views out across the valley of the river Ruhr. The rich canvas of trees and meadows, complemented by cherry blossom perfectly compliments the riverside scene. Great for a spring walk along the river and through the woods…

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Into the Greenwood:

The forests of the Eifel comprise predominately beech and oak with extensive areas of conifer plantations. Before the dense tree canopy closes, ancient woodland flowers such as wood anemone and lesser celandine, take advantage of the light to provide a spectacular display on the forest floor. Rarities such as the elusive herb paris can also be found later in the season, lurking on lime rich soils underneath the tree canopy…

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In Monschau:

The picture-postcard village of Monschau, tucked away in a hidden valley in the North Eifel is a popular destination for weekend day trippers. On a weekday however, you’ll have the streets of the historic textile village largely to yourself. The amazing black and white weavers cottages with their ancient timber frame construction and slate roofs provide great insights into traditional local construction techniques using the Eifel’s extensive natural resources of timber and stone. You’ll also encounter some colourful and eye-catching pieces of art around the village…

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Off to the Sawmill:

At Am Forsthaus by Zweifall is fully functioning restored sawmill, of a kind once common in the Eifel region. The mill is operating on certain days of the month and it’s possible to have a good look, close up, at the techniques used by foresters in years gone by. Outside the mill is the “longest bench in the world” made from one enormous single stem of Douglas Fir. Across the road is a rather more modern sawmill showing that wood products are still very much a major component of the local economy…

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This entry was posted in Aachen & Euregio, History & Culture, In Europe, Trees & Greenspaces, Wild Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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