Credit: SICONA

Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Biodiversity and the Nature Conservation Syndicate (SICONA) have announced that a new wetland was recently successfully developed and presented in the Alzette Valley.

Water bodies and wet meadows house a great diversity of species and play an important role in the landscape’s water balance. Intact watercourses and wetlands are also a prerequisite for functioning flood protection, the ministry stressed. Unfortunately, however, in the second half of the 20th century, over 80% of wetlands across the country were destroyed - a situation that SICONA and the ministry are aiming to counteract by creating new wetlands.

The new Orbet wetland in the Alzette Valley was presented on 11 June 2024. On the one hand, it is geared towards the needs of ground-nesting bird species in wet meadows, such as species from the plover family or the stork. On the other hand, it offers a new home for amphibians such as the great crested newt and tree frog. On an area of ​​around two hectares, most of which was made available by private owners, several still waters with a total area of ​​65 ares were created. A small stream was brought to the surface from a pipe, thus restoring a natural watercourse. The seasonally changing water levels in the floodplain allow the formation of mud flats, which the specialised target species can use as a habitat.

The area is located in the Natura 2000 Upper Alzette Valley area and borders directly on the Réiserbann National Nature Reserve. SICONA expressed its commitment to creating a wide network of still waters to ensure the exchange of species between the areas and to safeguard their long-term conservation.

The project was implemented by the municipality of Roeser and by the SICONA nature conservation syndicate as part of the National Plan for the Protection of Nature with the support of the Ministry of the Environment.