Nature Reclaims the Border

For forty years, a cruel border divided Germany. A border that was also a symbol of the ideological divide between East and West. When it was opened in 1989, biologists and conservationists discovered that in the former 'no-man's land' where for decades only a few border soldiers ever entered, Nature had worked her extraordinary magic.

In the shadow of the restricted zone, which no-one was permitted to enter, a refuge developed for threatened plants and animals. Rarities such as the black stork, otter, Wanstschrecke, which is a large grasshopper, and the whinchat have found ideal living conditions here in the marshy land, moors, pioneer woodlands and sparse grassland of Germany's Green Belt. In excess of 5,000 different animal and plant species live in this unique habitat; more than 600 of them are critically endangered.

The film reveals the ways and paths on land, water and in the air by which these animals and birds, including wild cats, sea eagles and beavers, were able to cross into the border strip and claim it for their own.