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Wathlingen: Old meets new energy - rural idyll where once miners worked (35 km)


In a contemplative mosaic of woods, hedges, fields and meadows you will encounter many traces of energy production: from oil pumps reminiscent of nodding horses, to the fuel peat, wind turbines and solar plants.
An eye-catcher on this 35 km long cycle tour is the Kalimandscharo, as the old potash dump is also called.
Special features on this tour
Peat cutting  
The inhabitants of Großmoor and Adelheidsdorf still went to the moor until about 1964 to cut peat for heating and cooking.
The peat layer was up to 1.80 m deep. Due to the preceding drainage, the areas could be walked on without sinking. The peat was cut layer by layer with a sharp, long spade into small, rectangular bales and stacked for drying.
Because the peat in the large moor towards Ehlershausen was wetter, it had to be "baked" before drying. To do this, the peat-water mixture was filled into wooden moulds. After a short drainage time, these bales could then also be stacked without frames.
After a drying period of two months, the ready-to-heat peat bales were driven out of the bog on rails in small lorries. Some farmers also used horses. They carried snowshoe-like plates under their hooves so that they did not sink in.
In the Nienhagen heritage museum you can learn more about the former peat cutting in the region.
Potassium mountain  
The heap, one of Wathlingen's landmark of around 83 m height, is reminiscent of the former potash works, which provided work for many generations of miners.
While the mountain - affectionately known as "Kalimandscharo" - glows white in the sun, its clay components shimmer brownish when it rains. The mining of potash salt and rock salt began in 1910 with the successful drilling to a target depth of 700m.
After being shut down in 1996, the winding tower was blown up. In order to flood the underground cavities, river water from the Fuhse river and the collected seepage water from the salt mountain is fed into the shaft. For the future, it is planned to cover and green the slag heap and use it as a local recreation area.
The association Kalibahn Niedersachsen Riedel e.V. is committed to the preservation of the potash railway. The members of the association maintain the tracks and offer rides with the bicycle draisine, hand lever draisine or large draisine in summer.
 
Nienhagen oil field
Nienhagen is known for its rich oil deposits. The "black gold" was first discovered here in 1889, and the drilling pioneer Anton Raky from Salzgitter founded the first Nienhagen drilling company at the end of the 1920s. In 1931, the Aue 1 well was the deepest well in Germany, at 1,322 m. The history of oil production also includes the great fire of 1934, in which six workers died and many were injured. Since its discovery, more than 1,000 wells have been drilled for oil in Nienhagen and more than 300 production towers have been erected. Oil is still being produced in the Nienhagen oil field today.

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