Bildungshaus Heideland (BHH)pizap.comGermany

Bildungshaus Heideland (BHH)

Bildungshaus Heideland is a non-profit organization based in the north west of Saxony and the east of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany. They have a strong track record of working in Europe since 1997. They have an active role in the running of Naturpark Dübener Heide and are responsible for the day to day work. BHH has different member groups in different communities with together 450 members. They hosted many Leonardo da Vinci mobility projects concerned with culture, environment, traditional skills and archaeology. Through the EU Programme LEADER plus they developed cooperations to other regions. They cooperate with lots of education companies, schools and organizations. So they work in regional education networks. They provide vocational education in some areas of adult learning and education for school children about nature – for EVEHD, it gives a community/volunteer-engagement example.

There are Groups which meet after school on a voluntary basis; they develop them and train their leaders. They provide family learning through practical activities like building Bird boxes. For Leonardo da Vinci they supported the exchange of other organizations in their network like Verein Dübener Heide and Vitalis. They also successfully promoted projects under the Culture 2000 and Leader.

They have an established wide network of European partners and have active cooperation with organizations in 12 European countries. Their projects have always had a strong focus on rural issues and they have a strong local partnership. Their offices in Tornau and Pressel are regularly used as a venue for adult education activities. They run informal courses in a range of traditional skills and Wildlife/nature conservation. They have a team of Naturpark guides who provide tours to view wildlife for the Public. This public includes visitors and school groups with special needs. A special hiking trail for disabled visitors and holiday options were created with the help of disabled people. They have strong links with the community and we are focused on addressing the needs of the community and cultural landscape.

Between 2006 and 2009 they have been involved in the Leonardo da Vinci Pilot Project ‘Unlocking Hidden Heritage’. This project worked with ‘communities’ as a target group to develop curriculum and work with communities to investigate regional traditional skills and re-establish a sense of ownership between local communities and their own cultural landscapes. The activities included developing skills associated with regional skills and crafts and restoring/reconstructing important landscape features like the furnace in Kossa (charcoal & wood tar). BH worked on concepts for the use of local rural energy, and continue in this subject area. They assisted in the development of the DOI ‘Green Village’, sending persons to Slovakia to take part on the sample measuring of carbon footprints of families, products and processes in a small village – this was community-interactive work. They have special experience of sustainable local products suitable for community business (such as the charcoal & tar), also gathering of mistletoe for pharmaceutical companies (it is a pest on fruit trees in our region).

They run a community-participating training action for curriculum development, getting help from local VET institutions – it is on ‘running a wood festival’ and is the brainchild of Wolfgang Köppe – a famous local artist who was a Prisoner of War in the UK in Grampus’s region. BH will attend actions of all partners and will disseminate in Germany and take part in the full consortium meetings and dissemination.



The Restoration of a holy well is enlisted as Action No.15 Action under the EVEHD Work Programme.

 The holy well / sacred water site restoration was a common thread through each of the 6 multilateral, all partner cultural actions. It was also an ongoing process throughout the two years that EVEHD ran. In fact, the purpose was to ‘kick start’ a process that would just keep rolling with local volunteers. I believe we have succeeded in that regard in Germany, UK and Slovakia; in Romania, Iceland and Turkey I am more pessimistic but this needs qualifying a bit.  In Romania the Orthodox Christian church still has enormous power and influence and most if not all holy wells are under the control of monasteries and looked after by monks and nuns – we had some difficulty finding one to work with. In Iceland Gudmundur the Good, the then Bishop of the country, blessed many wells (the ‘Blessed Wells of Iceland’) and we realised that people do not take them too seriously these days (Father John Musther, the English Orthodox priest who led in the wells, would say it’s because they’re Protestants!); we think it would be very difficult to generate a group of volunteers to do this ongoing well maintenance. Again qualification is needed – we looked at 6 holy wells in the process of choosing one to work on – all were on private land and most were cared for by the owner.


Here is a potted description of what we achieved with our volunteers:

Peter Kaiser, the EVEHD project leader of Bildungshaus Heideland report say’s: »There have been ongoing actions with volunteers to clean Monuments and wells from dirt. We have been showing our photo documentation to Burgkemnitzer Heimatverein. We work on the maintenance of the health well in Bad Düben and at the Luther well Burgkemnitz. In 2014 there was one cleaning action done in Bad Düben and in 2015 two more clean ups were undertaken. In Burgkemnitz were a few actions held to improve the situation about and around the Luther health well. It was dry because the coalmining in the 1990’s had dropped the water table. Now this time the well start again slowly and we manage to have access to the spring water again. Also there where wooden facilities for hikers around and we manage in several actions to fix huts and Benches for people visiting the well to rest’. During the EVEHD action in May 2015, the German volunteer team was joined by Romanians (4), Icelanders (3), Slovaks (2), UK (4), Turkish (2) and we rotated between archaeology excavations and restoring the 2 wells. The health well in Bad Düben was in good condition; the town council want the well to look good because it is a popular spa town. So, the volunteers just cleaned it – the German volunteers usually do it alone.  The Luther well at Burgkemnitz was another matter.  It was necessary to completely dig it out and re-route the pipe. It was a 4-day job for a large team but it was successful and the entire group assembled there to sample the water in the now clear flowing well. The story of the well is linked to Martin Luther from quite close by Lutherstadt Wittenberg.