Protected area Engelswand (“Angel’s Wall”)

The steep face of the “Engelswand” rises above the houses of Platzl near Umhausen. At its foot, there is an expansive area of boulders and gravel. This is where pioneer woods grow with populations of birch (Betula pendula), aspen (Populus tremula) and some larches (Larix deciduas).

At the transition between the detritus zones and the the rock faces one finds a dense belt of hazelnut trees (Corylus avellana). Due to the many rocky edges, steps and small plateaus, the Engelswand is a richly structured and heterogeneous habitat for different types of vegetative settlers. Belts of grass in the rocky face are dominated by blue moor-grass (Sesleria varia). Typical for the area are the heat loving stone crop (Sedum sp.), house leek species (Sempervivum), various meadow saxifrage species as well as carpets of Broadmoor savin juniper (Juniperus sabina).

The Engelswand was declared a European natural reserve (Natura 2000) in 2004. The wood and rock habitats possess a character that is unique and peculiar for this landscape and boasts a great variety of species. The area received formal protective status from the Tyrolean legislative in 2008.