Wernau Quarry Ponds

The Wernau Quarry Ponds are a Nature Conservation Area established by the Stuttgart Regional Commission on June 5, 1981 (NSG-Nummer 1.090). They are located within the jurisdiction of Wernau and Wendlingen and the community of Köngen, which are located in the district of Esslingen in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Wernau Quarry Ponds
Wernauer Baggerseen
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Wernauer-Baggerseen NSG Oberer-Neckar NSG-1981.jpg
LocationGermany, Baden-Württemberg, Esslingen, Wernau
Coordinates48/41/22.0/N; 9/23/46.9/E
Area32.1 ha (79 acres)
EstablishedJune 5, 1981
AdministratorStuttgart Regional Commission

Location and historyEdit

The 32.1 hectare (ha) nature conservation area is located to the West of the city of Wernau at an altitude of 255 m above sea level in the Neckar valley. It belongs to the nature conservation area of Filder and to the FFH area 7321-341 Filder.

Up until the end of the 19th century, the Neckar valley between Köngen and Wendlingen mostly consisted of grassy fields. Starting in the 20th century the landscape changed as gravel mining started, which also produces quarry ponds as a byproduct as rain filled the shallow mines. There was a 20 ha pond that was located at the city border of Wendlingen and the Pfauhäuser quarry pond was already a size of 35 ha. After the gravel mining ended more and more ponds were being filled in and the open water started to disappear. The Wernau Quarry Ponds were also in danger of being filled in and built over. The Germany Union for the Protection of Birds (Deutsche Bund für Vogelschutz DBV) which was the predecessor of today's NABU, applied for the protection of the Wernau Quarry Ponds in 1974. They had been monitoring the ponds for several years and registered over 200 different species of birds. The quarry ponds were officially declared a nature conservation area in June, 1981. The Regional Commission of Stuttgart named DBV as the official superintendent of the nature conservation area. In March 1992, the bordering Neckarwasen was also declared a nature conservation area. The conservation area increased to a total of 45,4 ha and is now being overseen by NABU.

A Daimler AG test track is located directly in the middle of the protected area. Talks between NABU and Daimler AG began in March 1996, with the goal of moving the test track outside of the nature conservation area. NABU's State Chairman Stefan Rösler spoke again with Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, in November 2006. Zetsche agreed to move the test track out of the protected area. And with the construction of the new test track in Immendingen, which was opened in September 2018,[1] the test track in Wernau will be closed.[when?]

Purpose of protectionEdit

The protected area is a valuable environment for both plants and animals and an important waystation for water birds during migration. Furthermore, an informative nature trail has been set up to teach the public about its importance.

200 different species of birds have been identified and registered. Among them are many species whose numbers have drastically reduced in the last years and therefore need special protection. Some examples are the grey heron, little bittern, common merganser, western marsh harrier, common sandpiper, and more.


  • Roland Appl, Günter Schmid und andere: Naturschutzgebiet Wernauer Baggerseen – Von der Kiesgrube zum Naturschutzgebiet, Landesanstalt für Umweltschutz Baden-Württemberg 1993, ISBN 3-88251-186-9
  • Reinhard Wolf, Ulrike Kreh (Hrsg.): Die Naturschutzgebiete im Regierungsbezirk Stuttgart. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2007, ISBN 978-3-7995-5176-2, S. 500–502


  1. ^ "Weniger Probefahrten auf Straßen: Daimler eröffnet Testzentrum für Roboterautos". Der Spiegel. 19 September 2018 – via Spiegel Online.

External linksEdit