Permanent collection and locations
Collection and preservation
A museum and collection of stature
Nature park centre in the Moor-Veenland nature park
Economic exploitation and the concomitant changes in the landscape left Bourtanger Moor consisting only of residual peatland areas. In 2006, these areas were joined together in the cross-border German-Dutch “Naturpark Moor-Veenland“ nature park – not least with the aims of consolidating conservation of the intact upland peat areas and adding the upland peat areas still in use to the area of nature conservation. In addition, tourism needs to be promoted in this region. In the next 15 years further areas which have been fully or partly excavated will become areas of nature conservation following successful renaturalization, and the nature reserve will thus undergo further growth and realignment. Serving as a centre to the nature park, Emsland Moormuseum offers both historical and ecological expertise in the transfer of knowledge.
Emsland Moormuseum mission
Emsland Moormuseum is situated in the municipality of Geeste near the Netherlands-German border, surrounded by the international Bourtanger Moor – Bargerveen nature park. It has 30ha of outdoor grounds, containing renaturalized upland peat areas and settler’s farms, which are accessible via the field railway and plank paths. The museum boasts two state-of-the-art exhibition halls, together providing 2,500m² of exhibition space, and a museum café. Emsland Moormuseum’s public mission is to collect, preserve, research and convey knowledge about peatland and peat cultivation in northwestern Germany. In this endeavour, the museum follows the guidelines of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the German Museum Association (Deutschen Museumsbundes) and the Lower Saxony and Bremen Museum Guild. Currently the largest European museum devoted to peat moorland, Emsland Moormuseum has a unique collection on the origins of the moorland, its development and cultivation, its settlement, the Emsland Plan, peat extraction and production as well as peatland conservation and issues relating to the renaturalization of peat moorland. Emsland Moormuseum is renowned nationally and internationally as a museum and research location. The work of all the staff of Emsland Moormuseum focuses on serving the museum’s visitors. Our aim is to meet your needs and wishes. A wide range of educational offerings promote active learning, while visitors can enjoy peace and quiet and recreation in the spacious outdoor grounds and adjoining peat moorland locations. Based on a principle of lifelong learning and education for sustainable development, we hope to leave our visitors with warm feelings about the peatlands, as well as a greater understanding of the largely disturbed ecosystem. The sustainable management of peatlands is a main focus of teaching in schools and universities: interdisciplinary, based on historical developments, and addressing current, ecological core topics. This makes every employee and every position at Emsland Moormuseum of vital importance. All our employees have the requisite knowledge and skills to perform their jobs, are responsible and trustworthy, and are integrated into and accepted by their team. This is the only way to reconcile the constantly changing demands on the museum with the immutable nature of its mission. Photograph: Emsland Moormuseum employees during a visit to Zollern colliary in the Bövinghausen suburb of Dortmund.
Origin of Emsland Moormuseum
Origin of Emsland Moormuseum: Emsland Moormuseum has its origins in the local history and tourist association Heimat- und Verkehrsverein Groß Hesepe e.V. In the 1970s, after cultivation work within the framework of the Emsland plan had ended, heavy machinery produced by the company Ottomeyer, such as traction engines, steam ploughs and earthmovers, remained in Emsland. Having become redundant at the end of the works, these machines were entrusted to the Heimatverein Groß Hesepe association (of the municipality of Geeste) to be exhibited. Soon after, several peat extraction and peat processing machines and manual tools from the times of agricultural peat extraction, which had become obsolete due to continuing technological progress in the region, were added to the collection. The machines and tools were accommodated in a residual peat moorland area with an initial surface area of 20ha, which was made available to the Heimatverein by the municipality of Geeste. In 1984 a hall with an administrative and residential wing was built, and extended two years later with an exhibition area. It was possible to open another building in 1992 to house the administration and museum restaurant, but attempts to stabilise the Moormuseum economically remained unsuccessful. Not least due to these problems, which needed to be solved in light of the museum’s increasing stature, a reorganization took place in 2003/2004. A new sponsoring association was founded in the form of Emsland Moormuseum e.V., to which the Emsland district, the municipality of Geeste, the Emsland Heimatbund, the Geeste local association and individuals from social and economic life are affiliated. At the same time, a scientific management was entrusted with the planned conversion and expansion of Emsland Moormuseum.