St. Marienthal

Nature Conservation Station

The nature reserve station Neisse valley is located about 500 metres from the St. Marienthal guest houses. Extensive environmental education and nature conservation measures have been carried out here since 1997.

The nature reserve station includes

  • the monastery beekeeping with a small permanent exhibition on the history of beekeeping and its importance for nature conservation. The monastery honey, the “Marienthaler Leckermäulchen”, can be bought at the guestreception,
  • a large meadow orchard with about 30 very old cherry trees and 100 fruit trees planted in recent years The preservation of historical Saxon fruit varieties is taken into account. Particularly rare varieties (Red List), which are not or hardly ever found elsewhere in Saxony, are preserved on this meadow There is also a large, newly planted flowering meadow on the orchard meadow to admire,
  • numerous smaller biotopes with dry stone walls, dead wood heaps, Benjes hedges, reading stone heaps,
  • Barbecue area with clay oven.
The IBZ St. Marienthal not only operates practical nature conservation at this location, but also maintains another 5 hectares of orchard meadows, an orchid meadow and other special biotopes. This work is financed by the IBZ foundation, but is also supported by the state programme “Nature conservation stations in Saxony”.

Forest adventure trail

The 2.1-kilometre-long forest adventure trail leads right through the monastery forest of St. Marienthal. The starting and finishing point for this circular trail is the monastery courtyard. Amidst a charming landscape there are 21 different adventure and information stations for young and old to experience.

One of the special features of this trail is that the path not only attracts visitors from one adventure station to the next, but also encourages them to take a closer look at the forest itself. Several “viewing frames” along the path lead the way, e.g. looking at a dead, upright beech to emphasise the value of dead wood or at a narrow valley where fire salamanderslive.

Further stations of the forest experience path are:
  • the wooden xylophone, on which you can play melodies for up to three voices
  • a floor profile
  • a tree trunk puzzle, where you can put a tree disc together again
  • two sawn trees, by which you can see what they have already experienced
  • a tree species memory, where you have to combine branch and fruit
  • one log to shimmy and one to balance
  • Tables where you can be creative with natural materials.