The meadow orchard is situated just outside Frankfurt, in the suburb of Harheim and on the banks of the river Nidda. It is a 3,497 square metre working orchard producing regional varieties of apples, cherries, plums and nuts.
False Oat-grass and other grasses grow in abundance between the old fruit trees.
Two pairs of the rare Little Owl nest here, one on this orchard. Experts estimate that only 7,000 pairs of the Little Owl nest in Germany. Interestingly around 50 pairs regularly nest in the Frankfurt area. A possible reason for this is the traditional variety of apples that is grown here in order to produce the local beverage 'Aeppelwoi' or 'Eppelwein', or apple cider/wine to non-locals.
Though once common, orchards are becoming increasingly rare and so consequently are the habitats for many species. The purchase of the meadow orchard has ensured safe breeding ground for the Little Owl and other rare species.
The orchard is under the care of the Hessian Society of Ornithology and Nature Protection (HGON) and its local branch in Harheim. Once or twice a year the grass is mown in order to prevent the trees from being choked by the grasses.
The precious and stately trees of old and almost forgotten varieties are pruned every three years in order to prevent breakage or untimely death. Saplings will always be planted to replace any dead trees. The first saplings were in fact already planted in the Autumn of 2008.
The orchard is located in the suburb of Frankfurt-Harheim
3,497 square metres;
Little Owl, Redstart, Hawfinch and many types of Bats;
Old rare types of fruit trees and grass varieties;
Two breeding pairs of the rare Little Owl nest here.
The custodian will be the Hessian Society for Ornithology and Nature Protection (HGON) with the local Frankfurt branch taking on the long-term management.
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