Just south of the historic city of Bielefeld and settled on a low mountain ridge is the quiet village of Verl. It is located on the southern edge of the extensive and intriguing Teutoburg Forest on the North German Plains and is certainly a great base for exploring this natural region.
The center of the village itself is very pedestrian-focused and there are several half-timbered buildings to see, but the focus of this location is aimed at exploring the natural world.
The land surrounding this location is riddled with rivers and creeks and the wildlife here is amazing. You and your family will find plenty of nature reserves to satisfy your zoological and botanical requirements — there are actually 39 reserves in the district!
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The Fleckerheide nature reserve in Verl is one such example of this very unique habitat and currently has 40 species found on the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species living here. The Sea Grass Meadows reserve is another well known wetland here, housing a plethora of wading birds, raptors and waterfowl — as well as some unusual species of fish.
Visiting these and other sites will certainly add to their importance as rare habitats and hopefully improve conservation efforts to protect these delightful wetland locations. It will no doubt also allow you to improve your wildlife photography or artistic skills on location — or just to have a great day out alone of with a local wildlife watching group!
Alternatively, if you like a cycling challenge, why not stop in Verl on your way along the Europe Trail R1. This well sign-posted cycle route runs for some 3,500 km from France, through Germany and all the way to Russia!
Or, for those who are not quite so devoted but who still love the countryside, why not take yourself on the shorter Hellweg Weser or the Teuto-Senne routes instead?
A trip north on the Teutoburg Forest Railway opens up a whole new avenue for walkers. This huge ridge of woodlands and exposed rocks will certainly tire out the children and make room for a hearty local dinner on return to your cosy hotel! ;-)