The Roads for Nature strives to propagate and disseminate best practice when it comes to the maintenance, establishment and protection of wayside trees. In this field, there is much to be learned from our Western neighbours. While the old West Germany lost almost all of its trees lining roads, the eastern Länder retained most of theirs. And since reunification, Germans have tried their best to weigh the need for the road system to develop with the crucial importance of protecting nature.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a specific region of Germany where the protection and management of trees lining roads is concerned. No region has more examples of avenues and tree-lined roads, but many are in fact newly-established, under Germany’s best developed system of protection for such trees. This is also the region in which an “Avenue Fund” is in operation, i.e. a special pool of resources earmarked mainly for treeplanting. The newly-planted trees are of high quality, and their aftercare is properly attended to. Nevertheless, even this part of Germany has its share of infrastructure v nature conflicts. This gives plenty of room for activity on the part of the local branch of the BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V.) organisation – our partner in the organising of the visit.
The study visits from Poland have involved 2 groups thirty strong. The “northern” group (drawn from Podlasie, Varmia-Masuria, Pomerania and Western Pomerania) had field trips on its first day, while the second ”southern” group (with participants from Małopolska, the Opole region and Lower Silesia) made its arrival. Day Two saw the two groups meet up for lectures. Then, when the northern group had departed, the southern group went off into the field, to better get to know the practice of protecting trees in Mecklenburg.
The programme for the visits had a very full agenda. During the indoor part, participants met with Katharina Brückmann of BUND M-V, who presented BUND’s activity in the name of the protection and reinstatement of avenues of trees. They then heard Ingo Lehmann of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ministry of the Environment, who is responsible for the legal protection of trees in that region. It was then the turn of Prof. Dirk Dujesiefken of the Hamburg-based Institut fur Baumpflege, who discussed the bases upon which the condition of a tree can be diagnosed, before going on to demonstrate this in practice in the course of a field trip.
Each groups site visits included a meeting with Dr Sven Reiter – a representative of the Road Board, as well as BUND’s Katharina Brückmann. The subjects of these meetings were the founding of new avenues, the development of road infrastructure and the reconciling of the latter with the presence of trees by roads, as well as the need for the young specimens in particular to be tended appropriately.
Study visit is organised within Roads for Nature – campaign promoting trees in Poland`s rural landscapes, as habitats and ecological corridors