From 17 to 20 September 2019, 25 students and supervisors from Finland, Austria and Germany got active in the LIFE for MIRES project area in Langreut (municipality of Haidmühle) for mire, climate and nature protection at the European Green Belt. The campaign took place in cooperation with BUND Naturschutz (BN) and the Society for the Promotion of Experiential Education (“Erlebnistage”). Under the guidance of BN project staff member Karel Kleijn, the dense birch growth on an area of approx. 5,000 square meters was cleared up. The area is part of a larger spring mire in the Natura 2000 area “Bischofsreuter Waldhufen”.
The clearing of bushes is a first important step towards rewetting and renaturalising the mire area. But why is it necessary to remove the birch trees? The birch growth withdraws a lot of water from the soil, damages the mire body and displaces the natural mire vegetation. Normally, birch trees can only settle on the edges of intact mires, as it is too wet for them in the mire. However, due to drainage measures in the past, the birches settled extensively in the mire here and withdrew even more water from it, so that the condition of the mire was threatened to deteriorate more and more. Another side-effect of the measures is that open habitats for endangered plant communities such as the Parnassio-Caricetum, which have been preserved here in relics, are created again, but also for animal species such as the Common Adder (Vipera berus), which needs warm places with direct sunlight. For the students and their supervisors, the work camp was a good opportunity to learn more about the European Green Belt, the LIFE for MIRES project and mire, climate and nature conservation in general. And also, why it is sometimes necessary to cut down trees.
The measure took place on an area of the Bavarian State Forestry, we would like to thank the Forest Agency Neureichenau for the friendly cooperation. In the coming years, drainage ditches are to be removed on a directly adjacent area owned by BN in order to raise the water level in the entire area again in the long term and further stimulate the growth of the mire.
Link to the report of the Bavarian Television (BR): https://www.br.de/mediathek/video/klimaschutz-und-artenvielfalt-helfer-im-moor-av:5d84b05b35b0a3001aa43163
Contact: BUND Department Green Belt, firstname.lastname@example.org