Floodplain restoration has been successfully initiated on a 420 hectare area on the Middle Elbe River in the German Federal State of Brandenburg. Within a federally funded “Large Scale Conservation Project”, grassland dominated agricultural landscape was converted into a natural floodplain area between 2002 and 2011. The relocation of a dike was essential to re-establish natural flooding conditions as a prerequisite for the rehabilitation of floodplain specific animal and plant communities. At the same time the dike relocation proved to be of great benefit to flood protection, restoring retention capacity, broadening a narrow of dikes and eliminating a hydraulic bottleneck situation in a dangerous river bent. Alluvial forest was initiated by scattered plantations of autochthonous woody species leaving much of the area subject to spontaneous succession. Excavation of alluvial water bodies and maintenance of a extensively grazed horse pasture area add to a diversity of landscape elements with the aim to restore a broad range of floodplain habitats with a high level of biodiversity. The initiated landscape change quickly set off succes ... mehrsional processes, mostly related to the altered hydrological conditions among which extended periods of inundation are of major importance. Severe changes in vegetation communities, birdlife and fish communities could be assessed by evaluation investigations and prove the success of the restoration project. Research activities and public environmental education continue to play an important role in the management of the project.