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Wet Meadows as Habitat

Biodiverse wet meadows are made up of an interplay of small ponds, marshy subsoil and areas of meadow with large and small plants. In earlier times large wild animals did all the mowing and later came scythes and livestock. Today it is often done by large machines.

Detail: Second lapwing meadow

Biodiverse wet meadows

Through regular mowing, a wet meadow becomes a species-rich plant population serving as habitat for a diverse animal world.

Large wild animals or machines?

In the past large wild animals such as Bison or Wild Ox undertook the ‘mowing’, but they are long since extinct. The introduction of scythes and livestock keeps the plants low to the ground in lieu of the wild animals. Since the 1970s, the use of fertilizers and large machinery has become commonplace. Meadows can be mown increasingly earlier. For many species it is in fact too early.

No fertilizers and late mowing supports biodiversity

No fertilizers whatsoever and mowing once or twice per year maximum supports light-loving and low-growing plants, and at the same time suppresses their high-growing competitors. Plants whose stems and leaves grow close to the ground, cannot be reached by the blades of the mowing machines. The point at which to mow is decided essentially by biodiversity. The later wet meadows are mown, the more possibilities many plant and animal species have of finding habitat there.

Grassland in many areas lacking in biodiversity

In many grassland areas in Langenselbold, only wet-dry to fresh hay meadows exist. These are mown too early and too often and thus do not offer suitable habitat to the majority of meadow birds. Another factor causing the Lapwing and others to disappear is the draining of pasture land. Join us and help us to buy more land for nature!

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