The north east of the Paderborner Land comprises the heathland and forest landscape of the Senne. Several parts of the Senne are designated nature conservation areas, one of these is ‘the Moosheide’, a 450 hectares estate with characteristic inland sand dunes, ideal for walking. The springs of the River Ems are embedded in the heart of this area and right next door is a 15 hectares estate set aside as natural grazing land for the Senner Horses. In the 12th Century, semi-wild horses grazed in the dunes of the Senne. Allowing these horses to stay outside and being semi-wild made them particularly tough, frugal, strong, fertile and gave them lots of stamina. Thanks to the endeavours and the commitment of a mere handful of breeders, a few animals of this endangered species survived until today.
The grazing horses are part of a project to protect the open areas from being overgrown by shrubs and natural succession. It is an aspiration to retain the typical characteristic of the Senne landscape. Another popular destination in this area is the ‘Heidschnuckenschäferei Senne (The German Heath Sheep Station). The Station accommodates a flock of about 10,000 of these grey-horned German Heath Sheep. They graze in the heathland and the dry sandy meadows of the Senne throughout the year and thus also contribute considerably to the preservation of this ancient Westphalian heathland landscape. In March, in the lambing season and at the time of the ‘Heather in Bloom Festival’ in August, you will find the whole flock in the stable at the Sheep Station. During the official opening hours, the Station sells German Heath Sheep meat and locally produced lamb sausages.
Visitors are welcome at any time; guided tours are subject to prior arrangement.
Sale of lamb produce: Thu from 15:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs, Fri from 09:00 hrs to 12:00 hrs, or subject to prior arrangement.
Hövelhof, Sennestr. 233