Conservation of natural heritage - Biodiversity and wood fuel

Testing the transferability of landscape management to other Natura 2000 sites.

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Project summary: 

The aim of the project was to identify technical, financial and locally appropriate ways to recover wood fuel through landscape maintenance in the most ecologically and economically advantageous manner. For this purpose, a total of 41 pilot areas were harvested in representatively selected habitats in Thuringia and Brandenburg.

In the districts of Teltow-Fläming and Uckermark, wood has been recovered by landscape maintenance. On about 300 ha of non-agricultural land, the wood was harvested from a variety of habitats including sandy dry grasslands, hedge complexes, sand heaths  and  inland  dunes,  generating energy for the region. This is to protect the habitat against succession of shrubs and preserve a rich variety of flora and fauna.

Project results: 

The project revealed that active recycling of wood contributes to a significant reduction in costs for maintenance. On average, the costs could be reduced by 35%, in some areas by up to 75%, in a few areas up to 90%.

Costs for energy uses of woody plants and shrubs are 25% lower compared to previous use (burning of wood on the surface).

The climate effect is very positive, even with extensive use of technology (greenhouse gas balance: the process chains consumed an average of 4% of the substituted amount of CO2; highly mechanised process consumed a maximum of 8% of the substituted amount of CO2).