Ahlden (Aller): Schotenheide
On a hiking or cycling trip you should take time for a visit to the southernmost heathland. Here, in the midst of large coniferous forests in the southwest part of Ahlden (Aller), there is a small heathland area with juniper stands.
The so-called Schotenheide is a nature conservation area and is easy to reach by bike. Cyclists as well as hikers should choose the Stichwege along the Aller-Radweg as a starting point. Between Ahlden and Rethem branch lines lead to Schotenheide, which are accessible on foot or by bike.
Particularly interesting are the fabulous stories that entwine around this heathland. Schwedenschanze and Wolfstein attract the explorer. During the Thirty Years' War, the district saw massive murder, burning and plundering. The Schwedenschanze is said to have helped to fortify the Ahldener population, more precisely to hide from the marauding Swedish soldiers whose military road led along here.
The Wolfstein is a memorial stone erected by the Hunting Association and a memorial to the last wolf killed in the area. It contains the inscription: "At this point on 27 August 1948, Würger vom Lichtenmoor (Slayer of Lichtenmoor), a strong wolf male, was killed by the farmer Hermann Gaatz from Eilte." About 55 young cattle and over one hundred sheep fell victim to it in the surrounding moorland and heathland. The farmer Hermann Gaartz from Eilte had been hunting the animal for many weeks, evening after evening, until on 27 August 1948, he fired a shot at a creeping shadow in the dusk from his high seat. The shadow finally turned out to be a thoroughbred wolf. The question of how the wolf – extinct for decades in Central Europe – came to be in Lichtenmoor was never exactly answered. Based on a complaint to the police in Bremen, it was suspected that two German soldiers had brought a young wolf from Russia, which was later abandoned near Walsrode.
Coordinates : N52.73045, E9.51389
Schotenheide is a nature reserve and not directly accessible by car. If you arrive by car, you can park your vehicle in the historic centre (Große Straße) of Ahlden (Aller). From here, the Mühlendamm points the way to the southwest. Another possibility is Frankenfeld-Bosse, where Giltener Weg leads to Schotenheide. Cyclists who use the Aller cycle path between Schwarmstedt and Rethem can also use the aforementioned branches to the south in Ahlden and in Frankenfeld.