A deer sprints through the forest, crossing a wetland with hundreds of orchids in full bloom, but the barking call of the hunting dogs is never far. The royal hunters of the Duke of Bavaria are quickly closing in on their horses, and soon the deer is in shooting distance. The hunters span their crossbows, ready to aim. With a final effort, the deer reaches an oxbow lake, and leaps in. The hunters stop and watch the deer hurrying away, safe for another day. The panting dogs drink from the lake and the hunters head their tired horses home to their castle overlooking the Danube.
The Donauauwald Neuburg-Ingolstadt comprises the EU Flora-Fauna-Habitats Directive area ‘Danube Floodplains with Gerolfinger Eichenwald’ and parts of the Special Protection Area ‘Danube Floodplain between the mouth of the Lech and Ingolstadt’. The entire region has preserved its special character as a dense riparian forest because of the protection by the former Dukes of Bavaria as a hunting area, where nature meets history.