3000 tons of lime from the air: Heide rescue by helicopter

Celle (Lower Saxony) – A helicopter turns in circles just above the treetops near Unterlüß. Every 90 seconds the Eurocopter hovers over a forest path and the attached spreader is loaded. A little later the plane throws its load over the trees.

Attention, the forest is being whitewashed here!

For two weeks, the yellow granules trickle on around 1000 hectares of the sheepfold forest office. Vice-Forest Office Manager Georg Deeken (61): “This is to stop the acidification of the soil.”

A mini excavator loads the spreader on a forest path while the helicopter hovers a good 20 meters above it


Acid rain makes the heather forest to create. The barren soil is also polluted, the fine roots of the plants die off and they can no longer absorb water. Deeken: “With the liming we support the recovery process of the soil.” For the future. Deeken: “We want the forest to come through this critical time, to be able to adapt to new conditions and to be there in the future as a habitat for plants, animals, and as a place of relaxation for us humans.”

Teaser picture

Vice Forest Office Manager Georg Deeken shows on the map where the soil needs lime


Soil samples are used to check exactly where liming is necessary. Moors, bodies of water and residential areas are excluded. The animal world should also be burdened as little as possible, the breeding season is over, insects have mostly already hidden themselves.

Three tons of lime fall per hectare. Cost: around 250 euros per hectare. Deeken: “That’s a lot of money. But it is also about the future of our forest. “


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