Ammerland district

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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the Ammerland district Map of Germany, position of the Ammerland district highlighted

Coordinates: 53 ° 13 '  N , 8 ° 1'  E

Basic data
State : Lower Saxony
Administrative headquarters : Westerstede
Area : 728.38 km 2
Residents: 124,859 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 171 inhabitants per km 2
License plate : WST
Circle key : 03 4 51
Circle structure: 6 municipalities
Address of the
district administration:
Ammerlandallee 12
26655 Westerstede
Website :
District Administrator : Jörg Bensberg (independent)
Location of the district of Ammerland in Lower Saxony
Landkreis Göttingen Landkreis Holzminden Landkreis Schaumburg Landkreis Goslar Region Hannover Landkreis Hildesheim Salzgitter Landkreis Wolfenbüttel Braunschweig Landkreis Wolfenbüttel Landkreis Peine Landkreis Hameln-Pyrmont Landkreis Helmstedt Wolfsburg Landkreis Gifhorn Landkreis Nienburg/Weser Landkreis Northeim Landkreis Diepholz Freie Hansestadt Bremen Freie Hansestadt Bremen Hamburg Hamburg Königreich der Niederlande Nordrhein-Westfalen Hessen Thüringen Schleswig-Holstein Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Brandenburg Sachsen-Anhalt Osnabrück Landkreis Osnabrück Delmenhorst Oldenburg (Oldb) Landkreis Wesermarsch Landkreis Vechta Landkreis Emsland Landkreis Grafschaft Bentheim Landkreis Leer Emden Landkreis Leer Landkreis Cloppenburg Landkreis Ammerland Wilhelmshaven Mellum Landkreis Aurich Landkreis Aurich Landkreis Wittmund Landkreis Aurich Landkreis Friesland Landkreis Oldenburg Landkreis Cuxhaven Landkreis Osterholz Landkreis Verden Landkreis Stade Landkreis Harburg Landkreis Lüneburg Landkreis Lüchow-Dannenberg Landkreis Heidekreis Landkreis Uelzen Landkreis Celle Landkreis Rotenburg (Wümme)map
About this picture

The district of Ammerland is a district in the northwest of Lower Saxony . Until the city status was awarded to the district capital Westerstede on May 28, 1977, the district had the peculiarity of not having a single city in the district area.



Most of the Ammerland belongs to the Oldenburg - East Frisian Geest . In the south-west this ridge flattens gently over large marginal moors into the Leda - Jümme lowland, to the east there is a relatively steep gradient towards the Weser march , a small part of which is assigned to the Ammerland district. For a long time, the southern Ammerland was isolated as a settlement island in a sea of ​​inaccessible raised bogs . Even today the tree-poor expanse of the moors, especially in the east and south, is characteristic of the Ammerland landscape. Most of this moorland is now used as permanent grassland. The Geest areas are traditionally characterized by a mixture of small forests, fields and hedgerows , which has given the Ammerland the attribute "park landscape".

Neighboring areas

The district of Ammerland borders clockwise in the north, starting with the districts of Friesland and Wesermarsch , the independent city of Oldenburg (Oldb) and the districts of Oldenburg , Cloppenburg and Leer .


Although around 40 kilometers from the North Sea coast, the western Ammerland is influenced by the tides . The Leda and Jümme rivers connect the Ammerland with the Ems and thus indirectly with the North Sea. Almost 17,000 hectares of the Ammerländer Wasseracht association area are located in the lowlands of Aper Tief and Godensholter and Nordloher Tief. The areas there are only approx. 0.70 m above sea level. At the Augustfehn gauge , the mean high tide is +1.15 m above sea level and the mean low tide is +0.35 m above sea level and thus the tidal range is still 80 cm.


Today's Ammerland district lies entirely in the area of ​​the Saxon Ammergau . This formed the north-western border to the settlement area of ​​the Frisians . Members of the Saxon sub-tribe of the Angrivarians (Engern) lived in the Ammergau . From 1512 to 1806 the Ammerland was part of the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire .

The first Count of Oldenburg known by name, Egilmar I (approx. 1040–1108), ruled over the Lerigau , Hasegau and Ammergau. The Ammerland is one of the Oldenburg ancestral lands, from which it was never separated during the entire Middle Ages and modern times until 1946.

Since the 19th century the area of ​​today's district belonged to the two Oldenburg offices of Westerstede and Oldenburg . In 1933 the Ammerland office was formed from the Westerstede office and the Rastede and Wiefelstede municipalities of the Oldenburg office . The eastern part of the Oldenburg office with the communities of Hatten and Wardenburg came to the new Oldenburg office . In 1939 the Ammerland district became the Ammerland district .

With the merger of the states of Hanover , Braunschweig , Schaumburg-Lippe and Oldenburg to form Lower Saxony, the Ammerland district became a Lower Saxony district in the Oldenburg administrative district , which was merged into the Weser-Ems administrative district in 1978 . This in turn, like all administrative districts in Lower Saxony, was dissolved in 2005.

In the run-up to the district reform of August 1, 1977, there were plans to combine the area around the city of Oldenburg in a large district of Oldenburg . These plans were abandoned in favor of an expansion of the Ammerland district at the expense of the Friesland district . On August 1, 1977, the district of Friesland was dissolved and the communities of Bockhorn and Zetel and the town of Varel were reclassified into the district of Ammerland. Due to various constitutional complaints before the Lower Saxony State Court in Bückeburg , the district reform was determined in parts to be unconstitutional. On January 1, 1980, the districts of Ammerland, Friesland and Wittmund were restored to their original form.

Population development

year Residents source
1933 44,753
1939 47,805
1950 74.032
1960 68,400
1970 81,500
1980 90,000
1990 96,737
2000 110,650
2010 118.004


District council

District election 2016

District election 2016
Preliminary result (%)
Gains and losses
compared to 2006
 % p

The district council of the district of Ammerland consists of 46 members. According to the preliminary result of the election on September 11, 2016, the district council is composed as follows:

Distribution of seats in the district council
13 6th 4th 16 
A total of 46 seats
Parties and constituencies Percent
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany 33.9 16
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany 28.7 13
Green Alliance 90 / The Greens 12.0 6th
UWG Independent voter community 8.6 4th
AfD Alternative for Germany 6.7 3
FDP Free Democratic Party 6.5 3
left The left 2.8 1
total 100 46
Turnout in percent 58.7

There are no groups in the current district assembly.

District elections until 2006

Distribution of seats in 2006
Distribution of seats in 2001

The district elections from 1991 to 2006 produced the following results:

Political party September 10, 2006 September 9, 2001 1996 1991
CDU 38.3% 54,221 18 seats 39.4% 57,451 18 seats 19 seats 17 seats
SPD 32.4% 45,913 15 seats 36.2% 52,681 17 seats 17 seats 17 seats
FDP 11.9% 16,898 5 seats 8.7% 12,653 4 seats 3 seats 5 seats
Green 8.0% 11,286 4 seats 7.4% 10,730 3 seats 4 seats 3 seats
UWG 6.5% 9,228 3 seats 8.4% 12.134 2 seats 4 seats 1 seat
BfB 0.9% 1,276 - - - - - -
Free voters 0.8% 1,118 - - - - - -
UWG Rast./Wiefelst. 1.2% 1,741 1 seat - - 2 seats - -
family - - - 0.1% 124 - - -
voter turnout 49,470 of 92,972 50,687 of 87,599 - -
53.2% 57.9% 65.0% 68.4%

The CDU parliamentary group formed a majority group in the district assembly with the FDP and UWG Rastede.

District Administrator

District of ammerland is Jörg Bensberg (independent). In the last district election on May 25, 2014 he was re-elected as incumbent unopposed candidate with 85.6% of the vote. Bensberg began his further term of office on November 1, 2014. At the district council meeting on November 2, 2016, Heino Hots (CDU), Thorsten Wilters (CDU) and Rüdiger Kramer (SPD) were elected as deputy district administrators.

coat of arms

The district coat of arms in its current form was awarded on July 3, 1978. It replaces a similar coat of arms from March 27, 1952. In the (heraldic) top right field, it shows two red bars on a golden background from the old Oldenburg count's coat of arms. The red zigzag bars in the (heraldic) lower left field are the Ammerland symbol of the " Ammer bars ". Heraldic on the lower right, oak leaf and acorns symbolize "the typical Ammerland oaks" on a blue background. The golden anchor cross on a blue background has only been found in the heraldic upper left field since 1978 . It replaced the Oldenburg pointed cross and was intended to represent the Frisian Wehde, which was incorporated in 1977 (the anchor cross was a symbol of the Counts of Bentinck, who exercised rulership rights in the Varel rulership until the 19th century). In 1980, the Frisian Wehde was largely outsourced and incorporated into the restored Friesland district. The localities of Spohle and Conneforde, which had already been assigned to the Ammerland district in 1972, remained with this district, which therefore did not remove the anchor cross from its coat of arms. It now stands for these two places.


The directly elected member of the Bundestag constituency of Oldenburg-Ammerland is Dennis Rohde from the SPD.


Jens Nacke from the CDU is the directly elected member of the state parliament of the Ammerland .


The Powiat Pleszewski (Pleszew district) in Poland has been a partner district of the Ammerland district since 2000.


Ammerland parkland. In the background the Zwischenahner Meer .
Tree nurseries in Kayhauserfeld

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the majority of the inhabitants of the Ammerland lived from agriculture and peat extraction. In the meantime, the majority of the primary producers have found work in the secondary and tertiary economic sectors. In addition, most of the former moorland has been peated, and natural moor areas are largely under nature protection , so that relatively few people are still working in the moor. In the coming years, according to the plans of the Lower Saxony state government, large contiguous grassland areas, 726 hectares in Hankhauser Moor (north of the B 211 ) and 587 hectares in Loyer Moor (south of the B 211), will continue to be designated as priority areas for peat extraction.

In the 2016 Future Atlas , the Ammerland district was ranked 181th out of 402 districts, municipal associations and urban districts in Germany, making it one of the regions with a “balanced risk-opportunity mix” for the future.

Protected areas

In addition to landscape protection areas and natural monuments, there are 19 designated nature protection areas in the district (as of January 2018).

See also:

Due to the easy availability of peat as a fertilizer, there are now more than 350 tree nurseries on 2,600 hectares in the Ammerland district, from which 90 percent of all rhododendron bushes grown in Germany and 75 percent of the free-range azaleas come from. Show gardens are attached to many of these tree nurseries. The best known of these are the rhododendron parks of the nurseries Hobbie in Linswege ( Rhododendron Park Hobbie ) and Bruns in Gristede . Because of the large number of tree nurseries, the Horticultural Training and Research Institute (LVG), which previously had its headquarters in Aurich- Haxtum, was established on the site of today's " Park of Gardens " immediately west of the Zwischenahner Sea . From 1998 the LVG developed into the Lower Saxony Garden Culture Center (GKC). In 2002 the Lower Saxony State Horticultural Show was held on the premises of the GKC . In 2003 the 14 hectare area of ​​the former garden show was renamed the Park of the Gardens . The park was visited by 132,000 guests in 2009.

The main focus of tourism is the municipality of Bad Zwischenahn on the Zwischenahner Meer , where there are spa facilities with beauty and wellness facilities. In the northeast of the Ammerland lies the former residence of Rastede , which attracts many paying guests with its equestrian events and a medieval market . In 2006 the world championship (WM) in sled dog racing, canicross and bikejöring took place in Rastede.

The municipality of Edewecht is a center of the food industry , including a dairy ( Nordmilch ) and meat processing companies such as B. Meica . The company Rügenwalder Mühle Carl Müller GmbH & Co. KG has had its headquarters in Kayhauserfeld (municipality of Bad Zwischenahn) since 1956. In addition, the well-known fashion company Ulla Popken maintains its main headquarters in Hahn-Lehmden (municipality of Rastede).


The main road connections are the federal motorway 28 (from the Netherlands or Emden and Leer (East Friesland) to Bremen ), which is also a section of the European route 22 , and the A 29 (from Wilhelmshaven to Wildeshausen ). These cross the Ammerland and intersect east of Oldenburg. Part of the Oldenburg city motorway A 293 is also in the Ammerland area. The A 293 becomes the B 211 to Brake . The federal highway 401 also crosses the Ammerland on the way between Oldenburg (Oldenburg) and Papenburg .

The Ammerland district is crossed by two main railways: The Prussian State Railways touched the municipality of Rastede in the east of the district with the Oldenburg – Wilhelmshaven line in 1867 . Since 1869 the Oldenburg – Leer line of the Grand Ducal Oldenburg State Railways has been running through its center in an east-west direction.

Since the district town was off this main road , the municipality of Westerstede built a narrow-gauge railway to Ocholt in 1876 ; this was operated by the Oldenburg State Railways, which converted the line to standard gauge in 1904 and extended it to Ellenserdamm. In 2006, the connection, which had also been closed for freight traffic since 2001 and is only used by the museum railway, was converted into a trolley line . Regular passenger traffic was given up in 1954.

From 1908 a branch line ran from Ocholt via Friesoythe to Cloppenburg . The line between Sedelsberg and Friesoythe was shut down and dismantled in the 1960s, and freight trains have been running to Sedelsberg since then. In addition, the Ammerland- Barßel - Saterland museum train runs on this route on a regular basis.

Finally, in 1912, the community of Edewecht created a connection to the main railway in Bad Zwischenahn; this route was extended to Edewechterdamm in 1920.

This allowed passenger trains to be offered on 86 km routes until the closures ( 34 km ) began:

  • 1950: Kleinbahn Bad Zwischenahn – Edewechterdamm ( 12 km )
  • 1954: Ellenserdamm – Eggeloge – Westerstede ( 8 km ) and Westerstede – Ocholt ( 7 km )
  • 1968: Westerstede – Ocholt ( 7 km ) - today this route is used by several bicycle carts and is therefore used very successfully as a tourist attraction.

Today in passenger traffic with the stations in Augustfehn , Westerstede-Ocholt, Bad Zwischenahn and Rastede operates four stations.

The Ammerland is part of the Bremen / Lower Saxony transport association . This means that bus and train can be used with one ticket.

The following bus routes are available in Ammerland:

  • S35: "Rhodo-Sprinter", Westerstede – Oldenburg express bus via the A 28 motorway
  • 330: Conneforde – Wiefelstede – Neuenkruge – Oldenburg
  • 340: Heubluss / Jaderberg – Rastede – Oldenburg
  • 350: Westerstede – Bad Zwischenahn – Oldenburg
  • 356: Ramsloh / Barßel ​​– Augustfehn – Apen – Ocholt – Rostrup
  • 360: Westerstede – Ocholt – Barßel
  • 362: Nordloh – Godensholt – Apen – Augustfehn
  • 366: Westerstede – Apen – Augustfehn
  • 370: Rastede – Wiefelstede – Bad Zwischenahn
  • 375: Bad Zwischenahn – Edewecht – Süddorf
  • N31: "Night Owl", night bus Oldenburg – Wiefelstede – Tange
  • N32: "Night Owl", night bus Oldenburg – Westerstede – Tange
  • N34: “Night Owl”, night bus Oldenburg – Edewecht – Tange
  • N35: "Night Owl", night bus Oldenburg – Edewecht – Friesoythe
  • 380: Barßel-Edewecht / Friedrichsfehn-Oldenburg


  • Ammerland Tourist Information , establishment of the Ammerland district to promote tourism in the Ammerland.
  • Oldenburg landscape , registered corporation under public law for the maintenance and promotion of cultural and historical concerns.


In the Ammerland district there are four shooting groups in the Ammerländer Schützenbund, the Edewecht district with nine shooting clubs , the Rastede / Wiefelstede district with eleven shooting clubs , the Westerstede / Apen district with ten shooting clubs and the Bad Zwischenahn district with eight shooting clubs. The Ammerländer Schützenbund, with its sub-groups and associations, is a member of the regional umbrella association of the Oldenburger Schützenbund and the regional association of the Northwest German Schützenbund and thus also of the German Schützenbund . In addition, SSV Jeddeloh, a football club from Ammerland, plays in the regional league. The traditional game - Klootschießen and Boßeln - is also played in 35 clubs in the Ammerland, in league games. For competitors, Boßeln is a place of performance like any other, for which they have to train several times a week. Klootschießen was mentioned as early as 1510.

Culinary specialties

  • Kale meal with kale , pee etc.
  • Smoortaal (smoked eel)
  • Bückel (fish specialty)
  • Ammerland ham
  • Ammerland eel (especially from Bad Zwischenahn)
  • Ammerländer Boßelschluck
  • Ammerländer Mockturtle
  • Ammerländer spoon drink - The Ammerländer spoon drink is a grain brandy that is drunk from tin spoons that you hold around your entire left fist. The drinking ceremony includes a Low German saying, where the host begins and alternates with his guests in reciting. Immediately after the toast , the pewter spoons are licked dry with the tongue so that there are no damp edges when they are placed on a towel. If one or more of them fail, the ceremony starts all over again. The spoons are only put down after the entire saying has been said. Ammerländer spoon drink is celebrated before and after a smort eel meal (smoked eel). Clear wheat grain is drunk, the same one that is also used to wash hands after eating eel.
The Ammerland spoon drink - variants
GG =
G = guest
Text at a guest Text for several guests translation comment
GG I see you. I see yo. I see you. or: I greet you.
G Date friday wed. Dat free us. I / we are pleased.
GG Ik sup di to. Ik sup jo to. I drink to you / you. or: I'll toast with you.
G Dat do! Do that!
GG + G Bottom up! Bottom up!
GG Ik heb di tosopen. Ik heb jo tosopen. I drank to you. or: I have toasted with you.
G Drop the right one. You met the right one.
GG So we always lift up doh'n. That's how we've always done it.
G So sound dat ok wieter goh'n. It should go on like this.


Landkreis Wesermarsch Bad Zwischenahn Edewecht Apen Westerstede Rastede Wiefelstede Landkreis Ammerland Niedersachsen Landkreis Cloppenburg Oldenburg Landkreis Oldenburg Landkreis Leer Landkreis FrieslandMunicipalities in WST.svg
About this picture

The district of Ammerland is divided into six uniform communities . This makes it the district in Germany with the fewest municipalities belonging to the district. The only city is the district seat of Westerstede .

(Residents on December 31, 2019)

Unified municipalities

  1. Apen (11,692)
  2. Bad Zwischenahn (28,896)
  3. Edewecht (22,453)
  4. Rastede (22,704)
  5. Westerstede , district town (22,952)
  6. Wiefelstede (16,162)

License Plate

On July 1, 1956, the district was assigned the distinctive sign WST (for Westerstede ) with the introduction of the license plates that are still valid today . It is still issued today.

Web links

Commons : Landkreis Ammerland  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. State Office for Statistics Lower Saxony, LSN-Online regional database, Table 12411: Update of the population, as of December 31, 2019  ( help ).
  2. ^ Karl Ditt : The Westphalia area in the historiography of the 20th century .
  3. Ulf Neundorfer: The Oldenburg House, family table of the Counts of Oldenburg and Wildeshausen . ( Memento of the original from February 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Administrative division of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
  5. a b c d e Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the founding of the Reich in 1871 to reunification in 1990. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 ; accessed on January 2, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. NLA OL Rep 400 Order 138 No. 64 - Administrative reform and area ... - Arcinsys detail page. Retrieved November 14, 2017 .
  7. Statistical Yearbook for the Federal Republic of Germany 1972
  8. Statistical Yearbook for the Federal Republic of Germany 1981
  9. a b c Lower Saxony regional database
  10. a b  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved September 12, 2011@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  11. Overview: The results of the direct elections in Lower Saxony ( Memento of the original from December 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed November 5, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. ( Memento of the original from February 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Entry about the district of Pleszew on the homepage of the district of Ammerland.Retrieved on April 10, 2019, 14:19
  14. Landkreis Ammerland - overview map of the nature reserves (as of 01.01.2009) Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation
  15. Peat extraction in the Ammerland district . ( Memento of the original from August 26, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. NABU Lower Saxony @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. Future Atlas 2016. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on October 2, 2017 ; accessed on March 23, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. Roland Benn: In the gardener's kingdom . Merian Oldenburg. ( Memento of the original from April 14, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 2.9 MB) p. 62 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. Parks and Gardens. Private plants & private gardens . Ammerland tourism
  19. .
  21. Ammerländer spoon drink on bad- Retrieved August 21, 2019 . Zwischenahner Smoortaal on bad- Retrieved August 21, 2019 .
  22. State Office for Statistics Lower Saxony, LSN-Online regional database, Table 12411: Update of the population, as of December 31, 2019  ( help ).