At the centre of Spreewald, some 70 km south-east of Berlin, is a UN biosphere reserve containing a unique and complex ecosystem comprising lakes, forests and hay meadows. Traditional farming and landscape management techniques are encouraged alongside so called "core areas" [Kerngebiet] where human influence is minimized to allow natural processes of regeneration and decay. The area contains a very high level of biodiversity including many Red Data Book species and there is much scope for further research.
Extensive mixed oak-alder dominated forests are criss-crossed by a network of canals and streams. In early June large numbers of Apatura ilia can be found drinking from patches of wet mud or wood.
Many of the very old paths between the marshes, woods and canals are lined with magnificent birch and alder trees. In June, freshly emerged Synanthedon scoliaeformis can be encountered sitting on birch trunks. In spring and early summer dozens of species of Geometridae, Gracillariidae and Tortricidae can be found sitting on bark and foliage.