Press release No. 2/21 - State of the hiking trails

The BGE, the Lower Saxony State Forest, and the collective municipality of Elm-Asse discuss the state of the hiking trails following the 3D seismic survey.

The state of a number of hiking trails in the Asse hills continues to be a source of irritation for many people in the region. Recently, both the Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH (BGE) and the collective municipality of Elm-Asse have received a growing number of inquiries from citizens. “The people are right,” says Dirk Neumann, Mayor of Elm-Asse, following an on-site inspection. In collaboration with Jens Köhler, head of division for the Asse mine at the BGE, Neumann has taken these inquiries as an opportunity to discuss the current state of the paths and further repair work as part of a joint meeting with the Lower Saxony State Forest (NLF).

Over 90% of the paths have been renovated

The agreements between the owners of the paths and the BGE stipulate that the BGE will pay for any damage that occurs. Repairing the paths is the responsibility of the owners. “The compensation payments have all been made, and over 90% of the paths have already been repaired,” says Jens Köhler.

Further repair work currently delayed by weather

The majority of the outstanding work relates to paths belonging to the NLF. Andreas Baderschneider, head of the Wolfenbüttel Forestry Office, says: “We began commissioning the repair work immediately after receiving the compensation payments at the end of September.” As part of this work, top priority has been given to the access routes to the forest, as well as the main connecting paths, which also receive a lot of use by people visiting the forest on foot, by bicycle or – in the case of snow – with sledges. The repair work on these paths has been completed, and the bulk of the logging trails (transport routes for felled trees) have already been rehabilitated. The next step will be to rehabilitate the outstanding paths, including the hiking trails. “We’re grateful to a number of forest visitors for pointing out sections of paths that are particularly in need of renovation. We’ve already done a great deal of work, but we’re not finished yet. Unfortunately, the current weather conditions have forced us to put the work on hold. It can only continue once the ground has dried out sufficiently,” says Baderschneider. This is expected to be the case at the start of the autumn growing season. The NLF will also seek dialogue with the local conservation authority to seek its consent for the installation of materials on hiking trails, which has not yet been planned.

The forest is a key factor for the region

“We’re very pleased with how discussions are going. We’ll be following the progress of this work closely and will also seek timely assistance from the Asse Heritage and Tourism Association,” said Dirk Neumann, mayor of the collective municipality. “Particularly in the current circumstances, the forest serves as a welcome place for relaxation.” Jens Köhler also expressed his satisfaction with how discussions are going and emphasised how important it is that all participants have chosen to engage in direct dialogue. “The 3D seismic survey was a major project that could only be implemented successfully with the support of local citizens. With that in mind, it’s very important to us to continue supporting the subsequent maintenance work,” said Köhler in conclusion.

Measuring area for the 3D seismic survey on the Asse hills

Measuring area for the 3D seismic survey on the Asse hills (click to enlarge)