A storage lake used for water management since 1967, sometimes dry in winter. It is surrounded by grassland with reeds Phragmites, scrub, and alluvial forest flooded by the River Helme.
The site is a migratory bottleneck, where up to 4,000 Grus grus regularly pass. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex (5 breeding pairs).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Helme reservoir Berga-Kelbra. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2020.