Workshop „Developing and using donor site registers for near-natural re-vegetation”, 2-3 June 2015, Bernburg, Germany

The workshop was held at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences under the auspices of the European Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. Almost 100 participants from nature conservation foundations, landcape associations, planning agencies, seed propagation and agricultural companies, farmers’ associations, nature conservation and road administrations, and many other private and public institutions followed our invitation and used the opportunity to inform themselves about successfully implemented restoration projects in Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony-Anhalt. All lectures (in German language) are available for download.

In the afternoon, field trips to three demonstration sites on the Strenzfeld Campus were offered. We presented a species-rich lowland hay meadow (established in August 2009, used methods: application of seed-rich green hay and material from on-site threshing, both with and without additional sowing of target species from regional wild seed propagation; Interreg Central Europe project SALVERE), a species-rich field margin (established in October 2010 and April 2011, used method: sowing of 49 target species from regional wild seed propagation; BMBF project ProSaum), and a species-rich flower strip (established in September 2010 and April 2011, used method: sowing of different seed mixtures from regional wild seed propagation and one conventional cultivar mixture; ELER project).

On the second day, the participants visited an ecopool project of the Landgesellschaft Sachen-Anhalt (see in the Natura2000 site “Porphyrkuppenlandschaft nordwestlich von Halle”. 2013 and 2014, site-specific seed mixtures, each one containing more than 50 wild plant species were sown on former arable land. The aim was to develop species-rich dry grasslands, cross-linking former isolated porphyry domes by implementing sheep grazing.

In the afternoon, we visited the mining site Roßbach in the Geiseltal lignite mining district. In September 2000, two methods were used to accelerate the vegetation development on a slope prone to erosion: (1) application of seed-rich green hay harvested in a Natura2000 site and (2) sowing of 20 target species from regional wild seed propagation with mulch cover. Especially the transfer of green hay from a species-rich donor site was very successful to accelerate the development of a species-rich dry grassland on bare soil. The untreated control variant showed severe channel erosion whereas both treated variants prevented them successfully.

At all field trip sites, detailed instructions for soil preparation, implementation, and management were given. A field trip guide (in German language) is available for download.

Field trip Strenzfeld Campus, perennial flower strip in the 5th year (photo Renate Geue)

Strenzfeld Campus_species-rich field margins
Field trip Strenzfeld Campus, species-rich field margins in the 5th year: variant management in June (photo Renate Geue)

mining site Rossbach_group on block trial
Field trip mining site Rossbach, group on block trial (photo Anita Kirmer)

Brachwitz_ecopool site in the 3rd year
Field trip Brachwitz, ecopool site in the 3rd year (photo Anita Kirmer)