Animal landscape keepers for more biodiversity in the moors

In the Freisinger Moos, Germany's first grazing project certified according to the independent Natur PlusPlus standard has been running since mid-August. Cattle of an endangered, old breed gently keep the moorland open and make it blossom again.

The particularly robust animals of the "Murnau-Werdenfelser Cattle" breed love life in wetlands: The animals are comparatively light, have exceptionally hard claws and joints with high resilience and they have a culinary preference for plants on wetland surfaces. This is a stroke of luck for the moors and their typical biodiversity. For the grazing cattle prevent reeds, willows and goldenrod from spreading unhindered and wet depressions and water areas from silting up. In this way, they ensure that sufficient open spaces are created and thus the prerequisite for new life. In the small hollows left by the hard hooves in the moor soil, water collects as a breeding ground for all kinds of tiny creatures. The dung of the cattle can be used by meadow breeders to feed their brood. Light-hungry plants are given the opportunity to spread again.

Already now, just a few months after the start of the project, it can be seen that the cattle are doing a great job: the heavily overgrown willows, but also nettles and goldenrod are retreating, dragonflies and toads are cavorting around the biotopes, and even orchids are expected to return to the moor. This gives hope for great things in the 5-year project period and also for the fact that the preservation of the local, but highly endangered domestic animal breed can be supported.

The 2.3 hectare site is managed by the Bartl family's agricultural business and the Freising Landscape Conservation Association (LPV). Through AgoraNatura, the LPV Freising in ISCC System GmbH found a strong investor for the project. "The protection of nature and biodiversity is a highly relevant and important issue for us," says ISCC Managing Director Norbert Schmitz. "In this context, we were convinced by the positive interaction between the Murnau Werdenfelsers and the "Freisinger Moos" as one of the largest, intact moor landscapes in Bavaria." With the help of the financial support, the additional costs incurred with this form of near-natural grazing could be offset.

You can find more about the project here: "Near-natural pastures in the Freisinger Moos".