Meadows and pasture landscape
In the Ore Mountains, species-rich meadows and pastures are comparatively common.
In our mountainous upland region, even cultivated grassland in agricultural production areas can boast a relatively long inventory of species.
The main focus of our work is on the Special Areas of Conservation that are under special European protection: mountain hay meadows, Nardus grasslands and Molinia meadows.
These landscapes are home to mountain arnica, Spignel, greater butterfly-orchids, thyme, Siberian irises and marsh cinquefoil. On steep slopes, in remote valleys, in areas surrounding springs, in fens and alongside streams, small remnants of these rare types of grassland have remained.
These meadows and pastures once supported our forebears, who had a high degree of self-sufficiency. They operated what would nowadays be considered as small, family farms.
It was the farmers of the Ore Mountains who brought about the diversity of these meadows.
Today, it is mainly conservation advocates, along with some farming businesses, who are showing ongoing commitment to the conversation of meadow diversity in the Ore Mountains. They do so on a voluntary basis, even in the face of technological and funding difficulties.
Due to the low fodder quality in these areas, which are of great ecological value, farming them is generally unprofitable and doing so using modern agricultural technology is not possible. These small areas are remote, full of obstacles and generate marginal agricultural yields. They are therefore of little importance for today’s agricultural production, which faces global competition.
A completely different kind of value creation is taking place.
In these areas, which boast a variety of flora, the value relates to the diversity of habitats and species and to repositories of genetic resources. Here, biological resources are preserved in order to retain biodiversity.
Yet this is merely a final remnant of the biological diversity that was previously so rich and widely disseminated!
We can only preserve this extremely valuable common resource for our children and grandchildren with the help of collective social commitment, adequate public subsidies and efficient landscape conservation organisations.