The Willow Tour - through the marshes – a story of dykes and drainage systems
After starting in Glückstadt, the path follows a series of streams and old dykes. Both drainage and irrigation of the marshes is a job for the ‘Weiße Wasser’ (Whitewater). Another stream called ‘Schwarzwasser’ (Blackwater) is responsible for draining the marshy hinterland at the ridge of the Geest (a local type of slightly raised landscape). Once, these waterways were major transport routes for the shipping of vegetables and peat to destinations around the world.
In the Engelbrechtsche Wildnis, we pass the Poppenhuus, a historic farmhouse that was named that way after the former owner included a doll (‘Poppe’ in Low German) in the building’s gable. From there, we follow the path to Herzhorn. Starting at Herzhorn, the path now exactly follows the line of the former dykes, such as the Kamerlanderdeich and Obendeich.
Looking at them today, it is hard to believe that those two dykes located far inland once served as a protection against floods from the rivers Stör and Elbe and also were vital connection routes. Behind Herzhorn, our path leads through the idyllic marshlands and along long rows of pollarded willows. These trees used to provide the material for sticks and baskets. Our way then leads us back via Moorhufen to Glückstadt.