At the same time, Pinneberg district, with its around 300,000 residents, is also the most populous district in Schleswig-Holstein. And it has another special aspect: since 1932, the island of Heligoland – Germany’s only deep-sea island – has belonged to Pinneberg district. Pinneberg, together with Steinburg and Dithmarschen districts, forms the region of SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN LOWER ELBE.
One of the world’s largest contiguous areas of plant nurseries can be found in Pinneberg district. Despite having the smallest amount of woodland in Schleswig-Holstein, it has the largest density of trees in the state, because of its numerous tree nurseries. The towns of Elmshorn, Quickborn and Wedel are important industry locations in the district, home to many large businesses, for example in the food, mineral oil and energy sectors. The district is the economically strongest in Schleswig-Holstein, producing about EUR 7.1bn gross value added per year, earning 11.6 per cent of the state’s gross value added.
The primary transport arteries are the A7 and A23 motorways, as well as the Kiel-Elmshorn-Pinneberg-Hamburg rail network. Ongoing development of the public transport network has been a constant in Pinneberg's transport policy for many years.
The fertile soil of Haseldorfer marsh, which runs along the north bank of the Elbe from Wedel to its tributary, the Pinnau, provides fine conditions for farming and fruit growing in the district. Also part of this cultivated and natural landscape, moulded by the Ice Age and the Elbe, are the Seestermüher and Wedel marshes.
Pinneberg district has a wide palette of tourist and leisure activities on offer. Nature reserves and protected landscapes are peppered with lakes; the marshes beckon for long hikes or cycle rides; the Arboretum tree park presents native and exotic plants and trees – and those looking for something really special take a boat trip to Heligoland island.