“LenneSchiene”: River quality along the whole length

The Lenne is the longest tributary of the Ruhr and has a particularly abundant supply of water. In the “LenneSchiene” project, eight municipalities along its banks are working together to make the river a more significant part of people’s lives once again. With measures to support climate protection and adaptation to the impacts of climate change, they are showing how this can be achieved along an 85-kilometre stretch of the watercourse. And, thanks to the “Lenneroute”, all this can also be experienced from a cycle trail, which offers regular views of the river.

They can be seen all along the Lenne – the challenges arising from the interplay between river and rail, countryside and housing, industry and nature. That’s why eight municipalities along its banks have joined forces to improve the quality of life in their towns and communities for the long term, to strengthen their shared identity and also to make the Lenne valley attractive to tourists. More than 235,000 people living in the municipalities on the Lenne between Schmallenberg and Iserlohn, and their guests, stand to benefit in the future.

Engine for progress:

  • River restoration supports adaptation to the impacts of climate change
  • 140-kilometre cycle path with energy trail
  • Quality of life and new regional identity

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Photo: Hans Blossey

 A view from above of the Thyssen meadows and Finnentrop-Bamenohl areas of the Lenne, after ecological improvement. The “Lenneroute” is also clearly visible.

River renaturalisation strengthens flood protection and the resilience of the ecosystem

Individual sections of the river course were renaturalised as part of the project in order to restore the riverbed to a near-natural state, incorporating links to floodplains and secondary floodplains where possible. In the process, natural drainage zones (retention areas) were created and flow speeds reduced, contributing to flood prevention in the region. In combination with encouraging plant and animal species that are appropriate for the location, the entire river ecosystem is made more resilient and more able to adapt to further changes in the long term.

Development of a 140-km recreational cycle path

In the course of the project, the 140-kilometre-long “Lenneroute” cycle trail that follows the path of the Lenne has been upgraded for tourists. The blue river waymarks provide cyclists with orientation along the route; the green signposts give information about specific destinations on the right and left of the Lenne. At the same time, the continuity and safety of “Lenneroute” was also significantly improved through the addition of new sections; in some areas, this construction work could be combined with the renaturalisation measures on the Lenne. However, the “Lenneroute” project is not yet complete from the construction and tourism perspective; the stakeholders in the LenneSchiene project are planning further improvements. These will involve a particular focus on incorporating the use of water power along the Lenne.

Raising awareness of climate protection

In addition to the positive effects for the climate and the environment, the “LenneSchiene” is reviving people’s awareness and appreciation of the river. With activity days like “Lennelebt!” (“Lennelives!”) or new attractions, such as the “TalVital” health and fitness park in Lennestadt-Saalhausen, it is has fresh appeal for all sorts of people.

In combination with regional identity and increased quality of life, the measures implemented within the “LenneSchiene” project are also having a positive impact on people’s fundamental awareness of issues relating to environmental and climate protection.

Photo: community of Finnentrop

“With the ‘LenneSchiene’ project, the municipalities in the Lenne valley are making huge progress in terms of urban development, ecology and tourism. In doing so, they are making a good contribution towards ongoing cooperation. It is not only the Lenne as a river that will benefit, but also all those who live along it or visit our region.”

Dietmar Heß, Mayor of the Municipality of Finnentrop

Partners and sponsors

  • Stadt Schmallenberg
  • Stadt Lennestadt
  • Gemeinde Finnentrop
  • Stadt Plettenberg
  • Stadt Werdohl
  • Stadt Altena
  • Gemeinde Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde
  • Stadt Iserlohn
  • Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz (MKULNV)
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk (MWEIMH)
  • Ministerium für Bauen, Wohnen, Stadtentwicklung und Verkehr (MBWSV)