Nature path
Flora & Fauna on the trail

Alone or in guided groups, you can explore the North Sea island all year round.
Walk along the paths of our eventful history, meet Hoffmann von Fallersleben and James Krüss.
and James Krüss and explore the wonders of nature on both islands of Helgoland. For your theme trails there is
There is a free information brochure at the Tourist Information, which will accompany you on your journey of discovery. You can also find the map with the theme trail in the gallery.


1 Ebb and flow

Due to the course of the moon around the earth and the resulting attractive and centrifugal forces, the North Sea around Helgoland is subject to the eternal change of the tides. Around Helgoland, high and low tides also influence the sailing times of the seaside resort ships.

2 The Biological Institute

It was founded on Helgoland in 1892 and reopened after reconstruction in 1959. The BAH is part of the Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation
for Polar and Marine Research. Its main tasks are basic and applied research as well as university teaching in the fields of marine biology and ecology. The approximately 80 staff members deal with marine zoology, microbiology and botany as well as biological oceanography.

3 The Dune

On Helgoland's bathing dune, the visitor is presented with a very special flora and fauna, which, with its variety of partly rare
invites to interesting excursions. Along selected paths, which do not disturb the fauna, a nature trail with twelve boards informs about the biological and geological features.
about the biological and geological peculiarities.

4 The Laminaria - Forest

Helgoland's forests lie under water. The rocky underwater world presents itself uniquely not only with the largest brown algae forest in the
in the German Bight, but also with another 400 or so different species of algae and entire rock gardens of flowering animals.

5 The mulberry tree

In the mild climate caused by the Gulf Stream, the mulberry tree (Morus) also thrives on Helgoland

6 Flora and fauna

Helgoland is characterized by a wide variety of animal and plant species and offers a multifaceted insight into the flora and fauna of the coast and the
sea. In addition to typical North Sea animals such as starfish and crabs, lobsters, which are only found off Helgoland in Germany, and various species of seaweed and lichen, the bird life on Germany's only bird rock deserves the greatest attention.

7 The Institute for Bird Research

April 1, 1910 is considered the birthday of the "Vogelwarte Helgoland", because on this day Dr. Hugo Weigold was entrusted with ornithological research on the island. After the Second World War, it was taken over by the state of Lower Saxony as the "Institute for Bird Research". Bird migration and seabird ecology are still the main areas of research today.
On the outer wall of the "Vogelwarte Helgoland" catching garden you will find seven boards with extensive information about the bird world of the island.
of the island. Among other things, bird migration and the importance of the island for breeding, migratory and resting birds as well as species diversity are explained here.

8 The rocky mudflats

The nature reserve "Helgoländer Felssockel" is one of the largest in Schleswig-Holstein with an area of 5,138 hectares. Many of the well over
thousand species of plants and animals found here can only be found in the rocky mudflats.

9 Nathurn Stak

The landmark of the island, the "Lange Anna", was created on May 16, 1860 by the collapse of an archway (Gatt), which connected the now solitary
rock with the island. According to tradition, the rock got its name from a tall, beautiful waitress in the café that was then
which was located on the northern tip.

10 Basstölpel

Gannets are the largest and heaviest species among the gannets. Breeding birds weigh between 3 and 3.4 kg. The bird is about 81 to 110 cm tall, and the wingspan of its wings ranges from a remarkable 1.65 to 1.80 meters. Gannets are shock divers, diving into the water at a speed of up to100 km/h. They are also known for their ability to dive into the water. Preferred prey are fatty fish such as herring and mackerel.

11 The Lummen Rock

On Germany's only bird rock, the Helgoland guillemot rock, the behavior and breeding biology of a seabird colony can be observed every year from March to October.
of a seabird colony with around 10,000 pairs of birds. The most spectacular spectacle is the guillemot jump in June,
when the young, still stubby-winged guillemots throw themselves off the rock and land safely in the North Sea water.

12 Gattbildung

For several thousand years, the force of the surf has been gnawing away at the steep, red Helgoland red sandstone cliffs. The power of the sea, which has created
The power of the sea, which has created bizarre shapes with deep caves and niches, is particularly evident in the "Lange Anna" at the northern tip of the island.

13 Evolution of an island

The development of Helgoland took place over a very long period of time. The characteristic red sandstone rested on salt layers of up to
years ago on salt layers up to 500 m thick. They were replaced by the enormous pressure of subsequent sedimentary deposits
from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, and rose upward at the weak zones of the earth's crust. The overlying red sandstone and the sediments
and the sediments covering it were thus lifted to the surface from depths of up to 3,000 meters.
Man also changed the appearance of the island. Mainly because of the bombardment and the "Big Bang" on April 18, 1947, the island has
has a completely different appearance today than it did a few decades ago.

14 The sea kale

Everywhere on the island blooms and grows Brassica oleracea from the cruciferous family - in short, the Klippenkohl. For the island, to which it
It is one of the plants that are harmless to hay fever sufferers and was therefore used in the reconstruction of Heli
It is one of the plants that are harmless to hay fever and was therefore planted by landscape gardeners during the reconstruction of Helgoland so that it could spread again.

15 Wind and waves

These elemental forces of nature shape the image of Helgoland. Depending on the strength of the wind, the sea off the island is as smooth as a mirror, shows a slight ripple, and in heavy storms even breaking crests and whitecaps.

Helgoland's nature - Uniquely wild and beautiful

In addition to the varied political and cultural history of the island, Helgoland impresses above all with its unique nature.
Let yourself be enchanted by the impressive flora and fauna that you will encounter at every turn on Germany’s only high seas island.
Helgoland was formed in an evolutionary process lasting many millions of years.

Due to enormous pressure forces, caused by sedimentary deposits from the Triassic
the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, the characteristic red sandstone rock was lifted to the surface from a depth of up to 3,000 meters.

The present face of Helgoland has been shaped over several millennia primarily by weathering and the elemental forces of nature: by wind and waves, ebb and flow.

The force of the surf and the strength of the wind created the most curious shapes of deep caves and niches along the Helgoland coast.

Gatts reaching into the rock
(bays) and Hörns (rock towers) rising between them fascinate the visitor during a walk along the nature trail.
Flora and fauna of today’s Helgoland entice with a multifaceted insight into the habitat of the North Sea and its coast.

On the dune, in the Laminaria – underwater forest, in the rocky mudflats and on the Lummenfelsen are thousands of different – and partly rare, in Germany only on Helgoland – animal and plant species at home.

The greater part of them can be observed and “explored” during a walk on our nature theme trail.
Two very well-known representatives of Helgoland’s natural world are, on the one hand, the Klippenkohl, which decorates the island with its characteristic yellow spots when in bloom, and, on the other hand, the Trottellumme. The latter give Germany’s only bird rock its name.
The Helgoland guillemot rock is a true paradise for birdwatchers. A walk there is worthwhile, not least because of the impressive gannets.
But also rather unknown and inconspicuous members of Helgoland’s flora and fauna are worth an excursion.

Many different grasses, algae and seaweed species, crabs, lobsters, sponges or even starfish and sea urchins and especially the diverse bird life of Helgoland are waiting for you to take a closer look.

Our identification guide
“Birds on Helgoland” (available in the Tourist Information
Information) introduces you to the most common species.

The two institutions on Helgoland that dedicate their work to the natural world of the island and the North Sea habitat are also worth a visit.

There is the Biological Institute Helgoland (BAH) – part of the Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation. Its research areas are marine biology and ecology.

The Institute for Bird Research “Vogelwarte Helgoland”, on the other hand, is concerned with the world of birds.

Here one is interested above all in the bird migration and the sea bird ecology.

The association “Jordsand zum Schutz der Seevögel und der Natur e. V.” (Jordsand for the Protection of Seabirds and Nature) on Helgoland is primarily dedicated to public relations work on the Lummenfelsen and the dune’s protected areas. So set off on a little foray across the island and through Helgoland’s diverse nature.
Small and larger representatives of the island’s flora and fauna are just waiting for open eyes to discover them and enjoy their beauty.

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