A Climate forest - Start in the green belt of Cologne

 A new forest is created
A new forest is created
Photo: Naturefund

Naturefund creates forests together with toom Baumarkt and ISOVER. For the first time forest systems are planted according to the principles of the dynamic agroforestry in Germany.

Adaptation to climate change

The climate is changing and is also affecting our forests. We have to ask ourselves, which forest tree species need to be planted today to develop a healthy and stable forest for the future. An adaptation strategy to climate change is the method of dynamic agroforestry, which uses natural mechanisms such as succession and cooperation between species to create a species-rich and healthy forest.


Dynamic agroforestry for the first time in Germany

The basic principles of the dynamic agroforestry were applied for the first time in Cologne's Green Belt. Two forest ecosystems with a high biodiversity were established.

One area is a medium-high mixed forest with lots of wild fruits. With its thousands of flowers in spring and summer it is ideal for the rare wild bees. Hedgehogs & Co. find an abundance of fruits and nuts here in autumn, such as the whitty pear, wild pear and hazelnut.

On the other area, a forest edge was reforested with trees and shrubs, including silver birch, hornbeam, dogwood, common broom and many more species. It represents an ideal habitat for the local wildlife.

The habitat connectivity is gaining importance

At the end of the 19th century, the city of Cologne invested the 100-hectare "Stadtwald" for the recovery of the population, and expanded it in the 1920s and mid-1950s. It has become known as Cologne's green belt today. While it was used for recovery reasons for many years, the green system is increasingly gaining significance for the biotope network.

In November 2016, available open spaces within the Cologne green belt were reforested to create a future climate forest in cooperation with the city of Cologne and with the support of the local company toom Baumarkt and ISOVER.

The aim, to create animal urbanites, such as hedgehogs and house sparrows, was implemented with special tree species, which are better adapted to the effects of climate change due to their properties, and the near-natural afforestation method dynamic agroforestry. The network of habitats strengthens the exchange between different ecosystems at the same time.

Pioneering in Europe

With the fight against climate change in the dynamic agroforestry, pioneering work is done at the same time. The dynamic agroforestry is used successfully in international reforestation projects of Naturefund.

Further areas shall be lay out together with the University of Bonn and the Hof Erbenheim in Wiesbaden. The development and results in Europe are eagerly-awaited.

 

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