Wall hedges, bends, öwer or över are wide, straight or uneven strips of ground covered with woody plants, usually artificially built earth, stone or peat walls, which usually indicate boundaries. Some of them are older than 5,000 years. They are independent landscape-forming elements of our home and cultural landscape. The heights of the walls and their vegetation are different and not fixed. In special cases, wood-free ramparts with border function are also classified as wall hedges. The average height of the earth walls is about 1.2 m and the average foot width of earth walls is 2 m.
with trees or bushes overgrown earth, stone or peat walls
Over. 5000 years old and belong to our oldest cultural landscape components.
Landscape elements, which are formative and indispensable for our cultural landscape and our recreation.
Cultural monuments, because they are part of our cultural landscape history.
Witnesses the origin and development of our cultural landscape in which we live.
Biotopes, landscape networking of complex biotic communities. These promote the biological balance and reduce “pests” of neighboring fields and grassland.
Living space numerous animal, plant and fungal species. Approx. 7000 animal species, such as small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects can be found in undisturbed wall hedge areas and 1800 species in an intact wall hedge, as well as approx. 1000 plant species and at least as many mushroom species.
Grazing (buds, leaves, fruits) for game that can be hunted, thus reducing damage to fields.
Bee pasture, that means pollen and nectar source for bees, bumblebees and moths.
Catch bush location for insect pests, which their enemies often chase here.
Winter feed storage chambers for all kinds of animals (rose hips, elderberries, parsonets and other fruits and seeds of fruit-bearing hedge plants)
weed seed barriers. They reduce unwanted weed colonization of arable land by seed flight.
Retreats for many endangered animal, plant and fungal species.
Cover possibility and escape castle for numerous animal species. They are protection against human disturbance and predators.
Weather protection. They protect animals and plants against adverse weather conditions (storm, rain, snow, hail). They reduce snowdrifts, sandstorms and other extreme weather effects.
immission control. They reduce the pollution of the air (filter effect).
erosion protection. They counteract ground slides and soil drifts.
Screen and noise protection between streets and residential areas.
Wood supplier for mechanical engineering, tools, construction and firewood.
Additional yield provider. The yield increase of all crops is about 15%.
natural enclosure of arable and grazing land for livestock. In the past, hedgerows surrounding arable land also served to keep cattle and game away.
Boundary symbol, which are therefore still protected by law today.
endangered landscape components. About 100,000 km of wall hedges have been destroyed in northern Germany since the 19th century. That is why wall hedges are under special legal protection today. They may no longer be removed or damaged.
In order to secure wall hedges and their habitat and their importance for nature, landscape, home and recreation, wall hedges are newly created, restored and maintained.
The first wall hedges developed from the wattle fence and the dry shrub hedge more than five thousand years B.C. as primitive defences against wild animals and plundering hordes. The so-called Heinrichsburgen (Henry’s castles) were also built during this period (around the 8th to 9th century AD). These are large ring walls, which were built to defend against warlike hordes, with a height of about 8 to 10 metres (Heidenwall Delthun, municipality of Ganderkesee).
Wall hedges, which were planted around the valuable farmland, the so-called Esch, are probably just as old. These wall hedges were used for the defense of cattle and game, as well as the Esch border to the common.
Around the 11th and 12th century the first Kämpe were created. This private property had to be surrounded by hedges as a fixed border. During this time the first generation of wall hedges was probably created on a large scale throughout the country, often only to separate noble estates.
In the following 13th to 15th century, wall hedges were created for defence and war policy reasons, but also to protect territorial borders, such as county borders, by land defences.
From the 16th to the 17th century, hedgerows were planted for economic reasons, after the forests had been largely cleared, the fields exhausted, the heathlands torn down and completely overgrazed. The hedgerows were used as sand traps, as protective walls for the rearing of forest goods and for timber production without fixed boundaries to combat soil erosion and timber shortages.
From 1639 onwards, no tree could be felled in the state of Oldenburg without express ducal permission. Every state and private forest had to be surrounded by walls to protect it from the grazing cattle of the commonality.
From 1677 onwards, “Baumaufzuchtskämpe” with a surrounding hedge was to be planted in the Oldenburg manorial forest, in the communal woods, in private woods and in the gardens around the house. This measure was intended to guarantee areas protected against erosion with young plantings (protection).
At the same time and earlier, wall hedges were also built at the courtyard entrances, which could be more than 100 metres long, and although they delimited the path on both sides, they had no border function. In order to avoid the access of higher places, all private farms were surrounded by ramparts. For only what was surrounded by walls did not become princely property.
Due to the agricultural reform of the 19th century, the division of the common land in the Duchy of Oldenburg in 1804/1806, the Edict of Reclamation of 1765 in the Kingdom of Prussia (for East Frisia), a multitude of new wall hedges were created in the second generation. These wall hedges were mainly created as property boundaries, but also for cattle fencing, as wind protection (erosion control) and for the renewal of wood for all kinds of equipment in “straight” lines.
In the last century, especially in the last ten years, wall hedges have been replanted for other reasons. This was prompted by ecological considerations, but in the horticultural sector also by design, noise protection and nature conservation planning. Finally, they are created on a case-by-case basis as a visual expression of a fixed property boundary.
In view of the wood-poor cultural landscape in the north-west German lowlands (forests in the Weser-Ems region account for about 8% of the total, with federal funding of 30%), the preservation of hedgerows is absolutely essential.
Wall hedges can be replanted everywhere (except on specially protected parts of the landscape), but especially where wall hedges have been removed in comparison to the local historical situation.
Any boundary lines of land or other land areas are suitable as a location.
Wall hedges can be created on the initiative of individual citizens, citizenships, forests, farmers, associations, water and soil associations, towns, municipalities, districts and the country.
The following points should be observed when creating new wall hedges.
The earth material for the rampart should come from the surrounding area for reasons of soil type and cost.
Along the future base of the rampart, the vegetation cover should be peeled off root-deep to ensure an optimal connection between the roots of the trees and the surface water.
The embankment should be built up to a height of 1.2 – 1.5 m, a foot width of approx. 2 – 2.5 m and a crown width of approx. 0.8 m (the embankment subsides in height by approx. 20 – 30%).
An irrigation channel (with a spade or by pushing it in with an excavator shovel) is placed in the middle, approx. 0.3 m wide and 0.3 m deep, along the top of the embankment to collect rainwater and pass it on to the trees and bushes. When planting, make sure that a recess of the planting hole remains around the tree or shrub for the same reason. In addition, the newly planted trees and shrubs can be easily watered by means of the gutter in persistent dry weather (summer).
In order to ensure optimal growth of the newly planted woody plants, the rampart must be protected from drying out and from currently undesirable weed growth when new plants are planted or replanted. Therefore, a small pioneer plant species such as clover or phacelia should be sown. However, it is also very effective to cover the wall permanently with wood chippings or coarse bark mulch before planting. Constant mowing or removing the herb would be too costly.
Now the wall should rest or be compacted for half a year to avoid cavities that inhibit root growth.
Only plants that are indigenous to the location should be used on wall hedges; in addition, planting with non-native plants is prohibited in outdoor areas according to § 44 of the Lower Saxony Nature Conservation Act.
The planting should be done in combination on gap. Care should be taken that shrubs are planted in groups of approx. 4-8 of the same species. The shrubs should be vigorous perennials and meet the soil and light requirements of the respective species, otherwise there is a risk of complete loss of wood.
Wall hedges should only be maintained during the prescribed period from 1 October to 28 February; the self-healing powers of the awakening woody plants can best be used in February.
Wall hedges must be fenced off securely at borders to pastures for livestock at a distance of at least 1.5 m from the foot of the wall to prevent overgrazing of the wall hedges. Adjacent farmland is to be fenced off in the same way, but here over- or ploughing of the hedge can also be prevented by digging a ditch in front of it.
The care and maintenance of wall hedges is of particular importance. About 80% of the hedges in Lower Saxony are endangered in their substance by strong interventions, similarly it is in Schleswig-Holstein. While in Lower Saxony about 90% of the hedges are not maintained, it is different in Schleswig-Holstein where about 90% are “maintained”. The fact that (excessive) care often does not always represent something positive can be seen, among other things, in the fact that in Schleswig-Holstein one of the most common causes of damage is “care”. While in Lower Saxony about 80% of the hedges are damaged by overgrazing, the most frequent damage to the Knicks in Schleswig-Holstein is “improper care, mallets, stem crushing, clear cutting, “sitting on the stump” and ploughing”. Maintenance work is hardly or insufficiently carried out.
In the following, the respective care methods and care terms, which are interpreted differently, are described.
Clear-felling “A hand’s breadth above the ground”, “Sit on the stump” and “Bend
Here, the terms must first be clarified. As clear-felling is the term used when all the shrubs and bushes are cut back over a certain area or over the entire length and width of a hedge. It is of secondary interest whether the shrubs are cut a hand’s breadth above the ground (“set on the stump”) or 60-90 cm above the ground (“set on the stick”). This kind of radical “Clearance maintenance” was already in the 18th century branded as wrong and for the “animal and plant world” as fatal.
That “Sit on the stick” und “Auf den Stubben setzen” is a not undisputed but in moderation performed, acceptable historical hedge care method, which was not used very often. The fencing effect of the hedge had to be preserved. Unfortunately, the term “putting on a stick” is often misinterpreted. Some people associate it with the cutting of all shrubs and bushes (clear cutting) to “a hand’s breadth above the ground” or cutting the shrubs down to about knee height. In Schleswig Holstein these terms are even mixed up. Therefore both terms have to be clarified:
The terms 1. and 2. do not include the cutting of all shrubs and bushes from the rampart (“clear cutting”), as some people think, but only the cutting of individual stems down to a certain height.
It is just as wrong as misleading when, especially in Schleswig-Holstein, the terms “Sit on a stick” or “sit on the stump” than the “Fold” can be output. That here different and very different care are meant, is in some places completely unknown. That led to the fact that these two so different ways of care in the § 15 b of the Schleswig-Holsteinischen nature conservation law and the Knickerlass of 1996 with each other were mixed inadmissibly. The buckling as buckling is obviously known in the “land of the buckling”, also no longer from the meaning. In Schleswig-Holstein, it is stated that “radical caps” (clear-cutting, impact economy) and “sit on the stump” of the woody plants as the “buckling” aus. Accordingly, the woods as well as the fauna and flora are severely damaged!
§ 15 b. Paragraph 2.
“….if possible, put the kink on the stick every 10 to 15 years (buckling), but he must not bend it at shorter intervals than 10 years.”
To be continued!!!!
See also Repair
The hedge is completely preserved and very well maintained. The vegetation has a high proportion of shrubs (low hedge). The vegetation is not patchy, but forms a closed, possibly stepped mantle. If a hedge is newly planted, the vegetation may still be low and uneven. The hedge has a continuous minimum height of at least 70 cm, a crown width of 1 to 2 metres and a foot width of 2 to 3 metres. The fence stands at least 1.5 metres away from the foot of the hedge. It is not necessary to repair the rampart, remove or replace the fence. The hedge is maintained in a regular rhythm. Excellent condition, there is a keeper every 10 to 20 metres. The bushes are up to 3 metres high. The landscape looks rich in structure and attractive.
Every 8 to 10 years, alternately cut back the shrubbery to the cane every 30 metres (60 to 90 cm high). However, this method of total clearing in sections can have drastic negative consequences for flora and fauna due to the sudden change in the vegetation, shade and moisture conditions.
A better method, which is in line with current knowledge, is certainly to bend or cut out the bushes individually, whereby only a maximum of half of the trunks and branches are removed (single trunk removal). The other part follows only after new shoots have formed at the cutting points, 8 to 10 years later. Here a care rhythm is established which is also acceptable in terms of ecology and working time. This care should be prescribed. Trees are not to be removed as landscape-forming elements here. It is not necessary to use them to the full except for a necessary path profile. The shrub layer should not be cut back below 3 m width.
The hedge is completely preserved and well maintained, but shows some damage. The vegetation can already have the character of a tree hedge with a good proportion of shrubs (low hedge), but in contrast to (A), high hedges are more represented. The height of the embankment is similar to the one marked with (A) but already a little lower (sunken). The foot and crown widths are almost the same.
The fence stands at the foot of the hedge and this leads to grazing. The fence must be repositioned at a distance of at least 1.5m from the foot of the hedge. A building removal is not yet necessary. A care as described under (A) is necessary. A disengagement, except for a necessary path profile, is not necessary.
The hedge is clearly degraded and uneven. The height of the embankment is on average 0.5 to 1 metre and varies. The fence stands on top of the rampart, which leads to overgrazing. The fence must be repositioned as described in (B). A wall repair is necessary. Earth is brought in on the gaps and if necessary the height of the rampart is increased. The vegetation is hardly or moderately maintained and has only a small proportion of low and high hedges. The tree hedge is predominant. The trees marked with a cross should be removed gradually. Cut the shrubbery as described at (A) and maintain it periodically in the same way. Some shrubs must be replanted in the gaps that have already been created. It is not necessary to prune out, except for a necessary path profile.
The hedge is clearly incomplete with late growth and occasional interruptions. The vegetation is already patchy and fragmentary. The tree hedges are predominant, there are hardly any low hedges. The height of the rampart is no longer constant and is in the range of 50 to 70 cm. The crown width is mainly 0.5 to 1 meter. The fence is usually already behind the wall, overgrazing occurs. The fence must be repositioned as described in (B). A wall repair is necessary, earth is brought in on the gaps and the height of the wall is increased. Existing trees and older bushes must be kept free of soil accumulation. The vegetation is not maintained and the tree hedge prevails with little or no shrubbery. The trees marked with a cross should be removed gradually. Shrubs must be replanted in the gaps that have already appeared.
The hedge is usually no longer completely preserved, e.g. due to tread erosion, and is very often only fragmentary and no longer or not significantly maintained. The vegetation is patchy, tree hedges and rows of trees are predominant, and very often more severe detrimental interventions have taken place. The rampart is severely damaged, the height of the rampart varies considerably and is between 30 and 70 cm. The crown width is often between 0.5 and 1 metre, the foot width almost evenly between 0.5 and 3 metres. The fence stands behind the rampart or is no longer there, there is overgrazing. The fence must be repositioned as described in (B). A wall repair is necessary, earth is brought in on the gaps and the height of the wall is increased. Existing trees and older shrubs must be kept free from the ground and, if necessary, trees must be replanted in the gaps that have already been created. For reasons of nature and landscape conservation, it is not necessary to remove trees. It is not necessary to cut out, except for a necessary path profile.
The wall hedge is no longer completely preserved and is often broken through here or below ground level, therefore very wavy. Also the vegetation is, as far as still existing, strongly stepped down, fragmentary and incomplete. Fragments of tree hedges are predominant. If at all, torn rows of trees and single trees as well as single bushes occur, which often show strong erosion and feeding damage. The height of the rampart is already highly variable in the individual hedge to ground level and is around 0 – 0.7 metres. The foot width is often 1.5 to 3 metres, the crown width 0.5 to 2.0 metres. The fence stands behind the rampart or is no longer there, which leads to overgrazing. The fence must be repositioned as described in (B). Extensive wall repairs must be carried out, earth is brought in on the gaps and the height of the wall is increased. Existing trees and older bushes must be kept free of the ground fill. The rampart may have to be re-profiled to the dimensions of rampart (A). A tree and bushes should be replanted at least every 20 metres along the entire length, and then the rampart should be maintained at 8 to 10 year intervals as described in (A). . For reasons of nature and landscape conservation, removal of trees and shrubs is neither necessary nor permitted.
All the listed damage factors can be effectively countered – usually without great effort – by doing without them or by initiating dismantling and damping measures.
The adjacent drawing is helpful for assessing walls. The individual rampart gradients are shown in six steps.
The left side of the cross-sectional drawing always faces the pasture area. The dimensions refer to hedges of the Oldenburg district.
Wall hedges are today under special protection as boundary markers or boundary facilities according to the various state nature conservation laws and the land registry law. Violations of the Nature Conservation Act are usually punished with a fine, violations of the Cadastre Act with criminal prosecution.
Wall hedges are protected in Lower Saxony according to § 33 of the Lower Saxony Nature Conservation Act and § 15b of the Schleswig-Holstein State Nature Conservation Act. They must not be damaged or removed. Despite the legal protection, wall hedges are not secured, but are highly endangered.
The following legal principle is therefore of particular importance.
The obligation of the condition destroyer to eliminate an illegal condition is independent of the time lapse” VG 22.08.1991″.
See also “page Nature conservation” Community division etc.
The page is still to be completed!!
Excerpts from the Edict of Reclamation by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia 1740-1786
of 22 July 1765 for East Friesland
We Friderich, by the grace of God King in Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg, of the Holy Roman Empire, Arch-Creator and Elector, Sovereign and Supreme Duke of Silesia, Sovereign Prince of Orange, Neuchatel and Vallengin, as well as the County of Glatz, in Guelders, Magdeburg, Cleve, Jülich, Berge, Stettin, Pomerania, the Cassuben and Wends, to Mecklenburg and Crossen Duke, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Prince of Halberstadt, Minden, Camin, Wenden, Schwerin, Ratzeburg, East Frisia and Meurs, Count of Hohenzollern, Ruppin, the Mark, Ravensberg, Hohenstein, Tecklenburg, Schwerin, Lingen, Bühren and Leerdam, Lord of Ravenstein, the Land of Rostock, Stargard, Lauenburg, Bütow, Arlay and Breda etc. etc. etc.
Thun declare and hereby add: § 1.
Whether We have already repeated Our paternalistic intention and precaution for a better reception of the population and agriculture several times, and still finally in the emanated edict of 8. April 8, 1764, some particular obstacles have nevertheless been expressed in Our Principality of East Frisia and the Harlingerland, whereby it has happened that there our salutary intention has not yet been sufficiently achieved, but that many an extensive desert, heathland and moraine, which in view of their good soil are nevertheless very well suited for insemination, planting with trees and bushes, and the establishment of new peat diggings, has succumbed without cultivation.
One of the most important of these obstacles was that the neighboring villages, which at times drove their cattle to the desert fields and heather fields around them, in order to find there some, how little food, from which they had been given, so far, they wanted to presume in an unauthorized way that they were not harmful to Our Fisco, sothane desert fields and heather fields, of which, however, they did not pay any tribute, to be regarded as the property of their army, and to count below their village borders, then also if the peat digging in the morasses had been granted to them for the necessary use, for this reason they want to ascribe to themselves a quite incomprehensible so-called right of extension, as if by which in both cases they have often made a claim to miles of deserts, which are in no relation whatsoever to the purchase money of their army. But since such a nonsense is contrary to the regulations of Our sovereign, and since We cannot permit the cultivation of so many desert fields to be neglected for any longer, to the detriment of the public, We have hereby sought to establish certain very cheap principia regulativa which shall serve as a guideline for the instruction of new colonists to the desert fields and morasses, and for the settlement of all disputes arising from them.
The heather fields around the villages, that is, those uncultivated fields which have a hard sandy ground and no peat, are also generally overgrown with heather, We do indeed want, as long as there is no acceptor of the culture, to give the villages with their cattle to run, to cut in the same dung pile, still further, but they do not have to pray for a property on such a ground, and therefore do not hinder the expulsion to new colonos in any way.
A proportionate and moderate district of the above-mentioned heather fields shall be left to each village for the planting of a common tree, for the benefit of the village, and especially for the maintenance of bridges, footbridges, school and church buildings, in its own right and free of charge, When the inhabitants of the village demand it, they must be able to take the piece of wood that they have been instructed to take, in order to prevent the feeding of cattle, and they must attack and solder it, and plant oaks in it, and when these wither, or do not open or start, they must replace them with new ones every year, and in this way they must promote the growth of the wood with seriousness and zeal. Since the chefs are attentive to the reparation of the walls and chimneys, as well as to the planting of the young oaks, and if they are found negligent in this, they will be called to their duty by the officials and forest servants, as will every landlord, as well as in the case of marriages, the prospective couple should be obliged to plant a number of wild trees there, of which the designation must be made annually and, as everything has been found in a local examination according to this regulation, a report must be made by officials to the War and Domain Chamber.
Since a village in the distance could also indicate that this not green meadow would be enough for the common pasture described above, a certain district of the nearby heathland should be left to the village for the necessary maintenance of the cattle. Our intention is to encourage the local people by gradually ploughing up their allotted piece of heath, and to put their economy in such a condition that they can completely do without the laborious feeding of their cattle on the dry heath fields. If, however, the congregation were to send this piece of heathland, which has been allotted to them once and for all, either in the Communion or by distribution to the army in the village, to be used for building or grazing within ten years to the date of this Edict, then no canon shall be demanded of them. But they may not appoint new colonists on this site in order to profit from it for themselves.
Wall hedge key
In order to determine Wallhecken reliably, I have developed the following Wallheckenbestimmungsklüssel as well as a new Wallhecken Erfassungsbogen which is computer-fairly arranged.
Wall hedges – Yes or No?
Is the hedge/ the location shown in one of the following maps:
Is there a rampart with or without vegetation, no matter what the apex height and condition?
Is there a clearly visible rampart with trees or bushes (even only occasionally)? It should correspond as far as possible with at least one of the illustrations on the reverse side of the hedge hedge registration sheet marked “A-D” (page 7).
If fragments of a rampart with or without vegetation are present, there are individual trees or shrubs which indicate a former rampart.
If there is an elongated, up to approx. 4-metre wide elevation (rudimentary) and a few centimetres high, with or without trees and shrubs standing in a row (see Figure E. and F. on page 7)
Are the roots or root attachments (root necks, see page 147 ff. Wall hedge book) of older trees exposed (“stilt roots” visible), especially in oak, alder, birch, hornbeam, rarely also copper beech and pine, or are there still isolated bushes, e.g. blackthorn, hawthorn, holly, which can also be fierce, but a wall no longer exists?
Are there hedges (without rampart), even those that are only preserved in sections, with a minimum age of 60 years.
Are there still trunks of trees that have been cut down.
If the area in question is shown on one of the maps mentioned under (1 a-f) and a question of ( 2-8) is answered with “yes”, the hedge is definitely identified. The same applies if two questions from the complex (2-8) or only question (3) can be answered with “yes”. If only one of the questions (4-8) is correct, this is usually a reliable indication of an existing wall hedge. If a wall hedge is shown in the maps (1a-f), but none of the questions (2-8) can be answered in the affirmative, then this is also a reliable indication of a wall hedge that was once present there. If no question applies, then a wall hedge is not provable.
According to this key even the untrained employee is able to recognize and classify most of the wall hedges. Whoever works according to this key will very quickly notice how comparatively easy it is to recognize wall hedges. Nevertheless, field biological uncertainties cannot be excluded. They should be cleared up in conversation with experts in this type of biotope. This is better than passing on false information
Not only is the correct approach to wall hedges important, but also the mapping or evaluation of wall hedges in order to derive the need for protection. However, we should be careful not to consider wall hedges, which are only fragmentarily present in the landscape and therefore receive a poor evaluation, as inferior. This hedge is protected without restriction in the same way as a fully intact hedge. Only about 4 – 6% of the wall hedges occurring today are still completely intact. Expressed in figures, this is only 1,200 km in Lower Saxony. Not many of the 153,000 km of fully intact hedgerows that existed in the middle of the 19th century are left.
On the basis of my field-tested hedge registration sheet, I have developed a new sheet, which simplifies the registration of hedges considerably and allows more precise statements about the condition of the hedges. This recording sheet is based on a semi-quantitative evaluation principle and is divided into nine sections.
At the beginning are the general data date, photo, location etc. This is followed by the macroscopic recording. In paragraph 1 (wall recording) the rough recording is carried out.
In paragraph 2 (wall condition stages) the wall is recorded with regard to its condition (A-F), according to the drawing shown on page 7. In the third paragraph (Wall dimensions) the dimensions of the wall are entered. The fourth paragraph (wall vegetation/hedgerow type) allows the classification of the hedge type from A-F and the recording of trees and shrubs.
In the 5th paragraph (ditch at the rampart available) a possibly existing ditch is entered.
One of the most important paragraphs is section 6 (Damage to hedges); here 31 possible damages are listed. Under Miscellaneous, an additional, not pre-conceived damage can be entered. The 7th paragraph (property condition / walled property areas) serves to record the respective property condition, always seen from the inner side of the rampart. In paragraph 8 the points evaluation and classification is carried out. Paragraph 9 (remarks) leaves enough space for other conditions not covered here.
On the back of the registration sheet, drawings are shown to help the mapper classify the rampart and its vegetation. It is useful because all data are coded and can be completely recorded and evaluated in a computer. Due to its point system, the condition of the hedge is objectively very well defined. In addition, it is possible to integrate older mapping results into the wall hedge recording sheet in order to be able to carry out a solid evaluation and analysis of a wall hedge stand. It is also interesting that also not particularly qualified employees are able to record hedgerows after a short briefing. Since the sheet contains all necessary criteria, these then only need to be ticked off. Time-consuming paperwork is thus minimized on site.
It is possible to enter various data such as district, owner, the course in DGK 1:5000 etc. at the desk in advance. In addition, the sheet is structured in such a way that the different data entry criteria are grouped in blocks to avoid time-consuming jumping back and forth while entering in the sheet. A practice-oriented data entry sheet helps to save a lot of time and must be designed in such a way that errors in data entry are excluded as far as possible. At the same time, it should be able to provide the evaluator with all necessary data quickly and clearly; the data must be retrievable quickly and reliably by data processing. I believe that this sheet meets these criteria. The recording of the wall hedge is carried out on a property-related basis. Without further ado, it can happen that if a property is completely surrounded by ramparts, a sheet has to be filled in for each side of the property. The aim is to achieve a uniform mapping, classification and evaluation of the hedges.
Environmental Protection Committee meeting of 18.5.1998
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Chairman
Report and proposals of the NAG on the situation of the wall hedges in Ganderkesee
The municipality of Ganderkesee has made a positive statement about the Agenda process. We also call the Agenda a contract for the protection of all living beings and cultural assets.
We are a value society whose values are not only based on the common language but also on the common culture, cultural landscape and cultural assets that have been formed over centuries and millennia. Wall hedges have shaped not only our landscape but also our way of life for centuries and thousands of years. They bear witness to a down-to-earth and yet moving life, which was not without privations.
When we complain about the decline of values in society, we do not come to investigate the causes. Our wall hedge landscape and the cultural asset wall hedge are particularly suitable for this. Because we are about to lose our wall hedges forever, despite better knowledge and legal protection, in less than a generation. This means that a piece of home and one of our cultural roots will no longer exist. We mostly watch this development, the destruction of the cultural heritage of the wall hedge, in silence, in spite of partly better knowledge. Many people are no longer aware of the value of the wall hedge landscape for home, nature and landscape. For some unteachable landscape users, who think only selfishly and short-term, the wall hedges are a thorn in the side. This item on the agenda is intended to introduce a turning point in municipal wall hedge maintenance and new planting. Wall hedges and the associated communities need friends, become all friends, friends of wall hedges! Let us conclude a long-term inter-generational contract here and now, in order to secure and preserve the wall hedges and our wall hedge landscape for future generations.
81 % = 225 km of the still existing wall hedges in the municipality of Ganderkesee have strong interferences. 78 % = 176 km are endangered or destroyed by overgrazing. The district has only fenced out about 10 km in 11 years in the community of Ganderkesee. This means that only about 0.9 km of hedgerows were fenced out every year. At this fencing speed we will need 195 years until all endangered wall hedges are fenced out, but then there will be hardly anything left to fence out. As we have now found out during a check, every 10 years the wall will be fenced off by 10 – 30 cm, depending on height, width and intensity. This means that a 1 m high wall will be gone in about 35-100 years and a 50 cm wall in 17-50 years. The decline of the flora and fauna will be corresponding, the red lists will become longer and longer. We can and must do something about this if we do not want to lose credibility in the agenda process, but above all in the eyes of ourselves. In a comprehensive system of interlinked biotopes, no part of the landscape is better suited as a link in the landscape than the hedge, with its population of up to 1800 animals and more than 2000 species of plants and fungi. The hedge plays an outstanding role in our ecosystem, and its homeland, cultural and recreational value is equally important. It should not be forgotten that the municipality of Ganderkesee has made a significant contribution to the preservation of our hedge landscape thanks to the support, the council and committee members and the municipal administration. For this we would like to thank everyone. But these measures are not enough to stop the destruction of our hedge landscape. Because only 4.5% of the 1842 existing, equal to 19% of the still existing hedgerows are in a good condition, the rest more or less degraded almost beyond recognition. Over 1093 km = 80% of the 1842 still existing wall hedges destroyed.
In order to achieve a substantial improvement here I therefore suggest:
The introduction of such a Wall Hedge Inspection Commission will help to avoid conflicts between nature conservation and agriculture.
In your current consultation you do not forget that you have a very special responsibility towards our future generations. Anyone who really wants to “preserve and preserve creation” can only agree with these proposals.
Seminar from 22 – 23.6.1994
Current questions on the protection of hedge walls (Norddeutsche Natuschutzakademie / Friedeburg)
Ganderkesee, June 21, 1994
Cooperation between official and voluntary nature conservation
Expectations of a volunteer hedge protector to the nature conservation authorities.
On the part of the Lower Saxony State Office for Ecology I was asked to take over the presentation “Expectations of an honorary hedge protector” under the topic “Cooperation of official and honorary nature conservation”. I gladly use this opportunity to present my view on the matter. It is largely congruent with the professional views of the nature conservation association. I myself am chairman of the Ganderkesee Nature Study Group, a local nature conservation association, and Wallheckenbeauftragter der Biologischen Schutzgemeinschaft Hunte Weser-Ems (BSH), Wardenburg, so I am active in non-governmental nature conservation.
It would have been instructive and important if a position had been taken on how to deal with representatives of private nature conservation from the point of view of the authorities. Perhaps this will result in a joint discussion. After all, hedge protection means constructive and complementary cooperation on both sides. As the list of speakers at this event shows, the official side outweighs the conference topic by far. I very much hope that the final opinion will take into account the association aspects in equal measure.
Almost everywhere in Lower Saxony, the commonality division in favour of the first introduction of private rural land ownership was carried out throughout the area from about 1800 to 1850. At this point it should be mentioned that although the wall hedges have been under nature protection since 1935, they have been protected by law since the community division and earlier. This was written down in the community division laws of that time, which are still valid today and which varied from region to region, as well as in the cadastral laws, which were incorporated into Lower Saxony’s legislation and are still effective today. Documents prove the protection of wall hedges already since at least the 11th century.
Further details will be explained by means of some photographs and transparencies. (2)
Figure 1 Hand drawing map (foil): Cadastral law
In § 75 of this law it says ” The borders of the properties are traced in the hand cracks with black ink. If, however, the boundary is formed by a rampart, its location shall also be indicated by one or two parallel lines (depending on whether one side or the middle of the satisfaction of the boundary), with brown ink in the case of ramparts and blue ink in the case of ditches. Here the width of a rampart including the moats is to be assumed to be 12 feet, that of a moat of 6 feet. (1 foot = 0.3m).
Thus, contrary to other opinions, it may be certain that all existing wall hedges were geodetically surveyed and cartographically recorded at least in the state of Oldenburg.
Slide 2 Gemeinheitsteilungsgesetz
Regulations, rescripts and resolutions from January 1, 1802 to March 8, 1811 in the Duchy of Oldenburg
Gemeinheitsteilungs- Law of 1804
Every interested person must properly satisfy the plaque healed within three years, of which the one in which the measurement is made is the first. In the distribution itself it is to be regulated how this satisfaction is to be effected, and how it is to be concurred with by the neighbors in the country.
General regulations (1804)
Part Four, § 22
(f) These and all other indemnity clays shall be assigned for satisfaction each time, except for the dimensions.
in low marshy ground, to a moat, a strip of 6 feet wide on each side;
in higher sandy soil, to the mound, a strip of 12 feet wide, of which 6 feet shall be for the mound and its berm, and 3 feet on each side to the moat;
where two plaques are measured out next to each other, the space for intermediate satisfaction is only remunerated once.
Where the plaque to be measured meets an existing old satisfaction, nothing is left for a new satisfaction; but the measurement starts directly from this old satisfaction. If, however, the latter consists of a hedge or fence, then 6 feet from the trunk of the hedge or the main posts of the fence are considered to belong to the old satisfaction.
(a) For the satisfactions:1 Whoever, with his plaiting, follows on from an old satisfaction, takes over the maintenance of the same half, either in half width and full length, or in full width and half length; but the former is more common, and the latter is preferable only if the old satisfaction is a living hedge. But the owner of the older turf is entirely free to retain the maintenance of the old satisfaction. 2. the satisfaction between two new plaques must be made and maintained by both owners, each half. 3. the satisfaction of a plaque along a public road is made and maintained by the owner of the plaque alone. 4. the satisfaction along a private road is maintained half by the owner of the plaque and half by the interested parties for whom the private road is intended.
According to the Oldenburger Gemeinheitsteilungsgesetz of 1804, it is stipulated that a strip of 3.60 m from the Gemeinheit was made available free of charge to landowners for the planting of wall hedges. One of the conditions attached to this was that wall hedges had to be planted, maintained and cared for.
For years the current validity of these conditions was denied by various authorities and ministries. (I do not want to spread the long official correspondence on this subject here, as this would exceed the time frame). However, I would like to share with you the enlightening remark of a high-ranking official head of department. He told me succinctly: “Oh, you know, we deal with old hedges and especially with your request on a lower level. First of all we try to dissuade the writer from his request and to calm him down. (And now comes the decisive statement:) Who is still familiar with these old laws. It’s far too much work to go into it. Others quickly shift the subject to doubts about the professional competence of the inquirer, e.g. the statement “only wall hedges that we have mapped are wall hedges” or “you are not a lawyer after all”. Here I expect a different attitude of the official contact persons, also towards a not so eloquent non-academic.
Meanwhile it is indisputable that the division of commonality has not yet been abolished. So it is not particularly helpful if the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment affirms the duty of the owners of wall hedges to leave, care for and restore wall hedges, but on the other hand speaks of the fact that a restoration order is no longer issued if the wall hedge has not existed for decades. This is justified by the fact that customary practices and ‘protection of confidence’ (whatever that may be!) are decisive here. Moreover, the whole thing would come very close to the statute of limitations, because – as one administrative employee put it literally – ‘even murders would after all become statute-barred after 30 years’. This attitude does not fit in with the quite centuries-old safeguarding of private property, whether it be dam and water rights, rights to handle, mill or crossing rights. In the case of these rights, no one has yet come up with a comparable idea to suppress, forget or question them.
In this context I would like to remind you of waysides (Lower Saxony’s municipal code, etc.). Public burdens (easements) need not be registered anywhere, “they exist”. In this context I also remind of the reunification, of “property rights” of former owners.
In the case of rampart hedges, I expect public property and old rights to be defended just as strictly and consistently in reflection of historical development and not to be treated differently from private rights. Any mistakes made by the authorities in dealing with wall hedges (whereby not only ignorance but also intent may have played a role) should not be a reason to continue as before. I say this also in view of the explosive nature of the 3.60 m wide strips of public border marking of designated wall hedges, which must be regarded as a ‘permanent loan’ from the state and must be reinstated.
Figure 3: Newspaper article of 15.4.1994 Lüneburg Administrative Court
The Lüneburg Administrative Court recently ruled in favour of the city of Lüneburg against a local water board that documents (easements) dating from 1348 and 1407 are still valid today.
Since the beginning of the 19th century, i.e. since the division of the community until today, about 60,000 km of wall hedges have been destroyed in Lower Saxony alone despite legal protection. This means that on an area of 21,600 hectares or the other way around, 216,000,000,000 ( 216 million) m² of hedges have been removed and put to mainly agricultural use. This is a clear violation of the law, as these areas are exclusively dedicated to the satisfaction of the land. As far as I know, there has not been any rededication, even in the course of land consolidation, which on the other hand is always required to secure and observe without exception the state’s share of the land within the meaning of the laws on the division of common land and the clearly formulated protection of hedgerows, which has existed since 1935 under the Nature Conservation Act. A unilateral change of the real or land easements by the landowners can no longer be accepted and disturbs the legal peace to an intolerable extent. Without at least tacit official toleration this work of destruction could not happen.
I therefore call for the state hedge strips to be returned to state ownership; this would be a major task for regional reorganisation and agricultural structure administration. It could be made clear to the landowners concerned that these areas are available to them free of charge. In case of doubt, this legal position should be secured by court (this would quickly be the case anyway) or by law, legally similar to the case of the riparian strips to be made available, which must, however, be acquired.
This legal position is supported by
Provisions of forestry and agricultural legislation (Real Estate Loads Act) of 17.5.1967
§ (1) Real encumbrances and easements based on old law or origin which arose prior to the creation of the land register and which are not registered in the land register may be abandoned or converted by means of an agreement between the entitled parties and the owner of the encumbered property which has been notarised by court or notary …’.
In other words: as long as no termination agreements have been concluded, the old rights and obligations continue to apply unchanged.
In this context, it is interesting to know by what procedural means and in what way this land was made available free of charge to the current landowners under certain conditions and what subsequent use was made of it. Furthermore, no taxes or leases have been paid for these areas to date. In the Tax Capital Investigation Law for Land of 18. 5.1855 it was determined that the costs for the maintenance of the satisfaction are to be taken into account when estimating the net yield of the land. In plain language, this means that tax relief was granted for the maintenance of the satisfaction and this fact has not changed until today. This would certainly result in amounts in the millions, which would have been withheld from the state treasury in the form of tax evasion (at 21,600 ha, this would amount to about DM 21 million annually at a mixed price of DM 1,000 per hectare pasture/arable land).
Today, hedge protection has a more or less high priority, depending on the personal interest of administrative officials, politicians or committee members. In general, an even greater and more determined commitment of the lower authorities in favour of the wall hedges can be expected. Civil courage and steadfastness of authority employees are also virtues which I often miss. Unfortunately, this is also associated with stress and career endangerment of the individual. Often the support of nature conservation associations is of no use either, unless the public is given more extensive information. Threats from applicants and their political liaison addresses should not be a basis for decisions. It is unacceptable that legal action is taken against lower nature conservation authorities who sometimes do not designate and recognise wall hedges as such, obviously in order to circumvent § 33.
Whoever removes wall hedges should not only have to reckon with the unproductive fines, but rather the restoration of the previous state according to § 63 Nds. NaturschutzG is to be imposed on him and the offence is to be included in the penal code as in the times of the Reichsnaturschutzgesetz. The districts should not be solely responsible for the punishment, as this is often too lenient. The majority of the Wallheckenfrevler would consider whether the removal is still worthwhile. Also in arbitrary and generous modification of partial permits (e.g. of wall hedge passages). Complete restoration is far too rarely imposed, although it is proposed by law as a sensible instrument.
Here I expect a fundamental change in the way we deal with wall hedges and other parts of the landscape. Outwardly, the protection of hedge walls is often (even on occasions such as this) emphasized, whereas in reality it is not or only with difficulty practiced.
Some of the lower nature conservation authorities do not shy away from telling the truth in technical supervisory procedures of the Weser-Ems district government. Cases have been reported to the press.
But there are also positive examples to report. First and foremost, the Weser-Ems District Government and the Lower Austrian Provincial Government (NLÖ), which very quickly took up the issue of wall hedges after the extra-official nature conservation authorities had issued an urgent reminder. But also lower nature conservation authorities have made a positive change here (example: City of Delmenhorst, District of Aurich). For the district of Oldenburg this change is still pending. However, the necessary sensitivity of the topic is often still insufficient or they react rather irritably defensively when asked. It is therefore all the more important that these employees do not regard criticism of the authorities as a personal attack. I think it is urgently necessary not to take offence primarily at lectures and letters, even if they are handwritten, unintentionally brusque or supposedly arrogant, in a German which is not perfect. The focus must rather be on the technical statements contained therein and their careful examination.
Due to the brevity of the lecture time allocated to me, I would like to refer to my book, published in 1989 by BSH-Verlag, regarding further “Expectations of an honorary hedge protector”, the contents of which have meanwhile been integrated in comments of the Lower Saxony Nature Conservation Act, in the NLÖ publication and other specialist publications.
Especially important are the following chapters (the information sheets are available here):
Picture 4: Slide
What is a wall hedge? (S. 18- 21)
Legal situation on the pages (pp. 79- 87)
Gradual loss of wall hedges due to generalisation of the maps (pp. 92-95)
Protection of existing hedges and embankments (p. 96)
Importance of the hedge for agriculture and landscape (pp. 102-105)
Networking of hedgerows and biotope networks (pp. 131-132)
Damage and removal of hedgerows, damage sequence and landscape concerns
Evaluation of hedgerows (p. 161)
Inventory, renovation and maintenance (p. 196)
However, this book is out of print and therefore no longer available in bookstores, . It can be obtained at any major library or through interlibrary loan.
How should we proceed?
I expect the nature conservation authorities to show considerably more initiative and assertiveness for the protection, preservation, restoration and new planting of the wall hedges. Likewise, the most constructive cooperation possible should be sought with “annoying hedge protectors” who are not so agreeable or sometimes unintentionally out of conviction. Above all, there should be an even better professional information of the employees who are responsible for the hedge in office or who work on the grounds. I expect them to be able to answer the question “hedge – yes or no” correctly and to the best of their knowledge. And if this is not possible, one should not be afraid to seek professional advice from the non-official wall hedge protectors. I consider a constructive cooperation of both sides to be indispensable to advance the hedge protection. The official and non-official nature conservation authorities should not be in opposition to each other, but should together try to resolve unresolved issues in a complementary manner.
Of course, this also means that official nature conservation authorities should include non-authority nature conservation in the relevant decision-making processes in good time. This would help to avoid a number of disagreements.
The word ‘constructive’ should not just be a catchphrase without content. Therefore, I would like to briefly introduce an older wall hedge identification key as well as a new wall hedge registration sheet which is computer designed.
Lectures & Excursions
At the moment, for time reasons, no more event dates are given.
ZDF shooting on 16.06.2002 in the community of Ganderkesee on the subject of wall hedges
Wall hedge exhibition from 17.06. – 02.08.2002 in the OLB in Wildeshausen
Poster, postcard campaign
On 17.06.2002 a wall hedge exhibition and wall hedge poster campaign presentation took place in the OLB (Oldenburgische Landesbank) in Wildeshausen. The patronage for the poster campaign and the opening of the exhibition was taken over by Uwe Bartels, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry. The print sponsors of this action are: as main sponsor the OLB, furthermore the company Umweltschutz Nord. The Delmenhorst branch of NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany) and the BSH (Biological Protection Association Weser-Ems) support the poster campaign. With this, an old request comes true for me: I hope it is a step for the preservation of the hedgerows, but many more have to follow. Through the patronage of the minister Mr. Bartelsd, the hedges will receive a due and high status in the public.
The event was very well attended with about 90 people. In addition to the Minister Uwe Bartels, the Member of the State Parliament Christian Schack, the District Administrator of the Oldenburg District Mr. Frank Egger, the Mayor of Ganderkesee Mr. Gerold Sprung, Dr. Friedmann Member of the Board of OLB, Branch Director Mr. Grewing, Prof. Dr. Remmer Akkermann, Mrs. Margitta Spiecker, and many more were present.
Exhibition opening photos
To the left: Christian Schack, Uwe Bartels, Georg Müller Christel Zießler,
Right: Gerold Sprung
Various participants of the event
In the following, all speeches will be presented in the following order
of the speaker list of the event.
Presentation of the Wallhecken poster action / exhibition Wallhecken on Monday, June 17, 2002, 5:00 p.m., in the branch Wildeshausen
Speech Dr. Friedmann Member of the Board of Management of OLB
Dear Minister Bartels,
Ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I too would like to thank you for your visit and for your interest in today’s event.
My special thanks go to you, Minister Bartels, for your patronage of this project and for expressing this personally here today. In view of the high demands on your office and the current turbulence in the agricultural sector, I have great respect for it.
I am sure that today’s topic is also somewhat more sympathetic than many other problems that you have to deal with as Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forestry – to put it in a casual way.
How sympathetic and close to you, Mr Bartels, the subject is, is underlined by an article in the Nordwest-Zeitung Oldenburg, with the headline “Minister takes up a spade with courage – wall hedge planted. So you are also putting your words into action – my compliments.
Ladies and gentlemen, wall hedges are important and typical for our region, because they have shaped and shaped our landscape for centuries and much more than elsewhere. Anyone who has seen the sometimes very cleared areas in large parts of Germany will appreciate the shaping character of wall hedges. Not to mention the other positive effects of a wall hedge. But more about that later from a professional point of view.
Ladies and gentlemen, it may seem unusual at first sight for a bank to feel addressed by this topic.
But those who know OLB know that we as a regional bank with the claim “the bank that is at home here” also look beyond the horizon of the actual banking business. This refers in particular to the promotion of the business area in many different ways.
Cultural sponsorship plays a major role in this, but we also devote ourselves to other meaningful and important areas. Our “environment” in the broadest sense has always been and still is a subject to which we are open-minded. As examples, I would like to mention the following actions: “Environment makes school” or “Water is life” or, in relation to Wildeshausen square, the “Solar 2000 of vocational schools” campaign.
We are particularly happy to support projects that involve a high level of personal commitment on the part of individuals or groups. This is undoubtedly the case with our theme of wall hedges. The intensive efforts of Mr. Georg Müller to inform the public and especially young people about the importance of wall hedges for our cultural landscape deserve the highest recognition. This also applies to the Nature Conservation Association Delmenhorst, in the person of Mrs. Margitta Spieker, and the Biological Protection Association Hunte/Weser-Ems, in the person of Prof. Dr. Remmer Akkermann, whom I also warmly welcome and who support Mr. Müller in his activities to the best of their ability.
This education is an important prerequisite for raising public awareness. This applies not only to individual groups, such as agriculture. It is too easy to blame the agricultural sector or even the state for the issue. The state can only provide the framework. But nature and landscape conservation is a task for everyone. Everyone within the scope of his possibilities.
So I very much hope that the campaign you, dear Mr. Müller, have conceived with informative posters and leaflets, just like your exhibition, will fall on fertile ground, and I wish you every success. In a moment you will explain the details to us.
But before that, I would like to ask Minister Bartels for a word of greeting.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Speech by Uwe Bartels, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food of Lower Saxony
Greeting on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition
“Wall hedges” and presentation of the “wall hedge poster campaign”
on 17.6.2002 at the OLB branch in Wildeshausen
Thanks for the invitation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
When Mr. Georg Müller asked me to take over the patronage of the wall hedge poster campaign and this exhibition, I accepted spontaneously and without hesitation.
Because wall hedges as landscape and regional typical elements and their preservation are particularly close to my heart. Therefore I gladly took over the patronage.
Some of you may also be aware of my commitment to the big hedge benefit bicycle tour of NABU Oldenburg last year.
This tour was also a great financial success and in the meantime the first hedges could be planted.
I think that this exhibition and the wall hedge poster campaign also have a model character, as we should bear in mind the great importance of wall hedges:
It consists mainly in the ecological value of these networking elements as habitats for numerous animal and plant species worthy of protection. In addition, the hedges serve to improve the microclimate and to shape, enliven and embellish a typical, historically developed cultural landscape. But even today, hedgerows still have an economic significance that should not be underestimated: they protect grazing livestock from storms, rain and strong sunlight, prevent erosion, improve the growing conditions for plants in their lee site and prevent negative emissions from penetrating into the adjacent areas.
As a valuable cultural and natural heritage, hedges, ladies and gentlemen, therefore, still require our special attention and protection today.
This exhibition and campaign is therefore taking the right approach: protecting the wall hedges by providing concise information to all interested parties, both adults and children. Because only those who know the diversity and significance of these landscape elements and understand the ecological interrelationships will also work for their preservation.
Mr. Müller was aware of this fact from the very beginning.
Thus, already when developing his posters between 1998 and 2000, the idea of developing a poster that would present a concise but at the same time comprehensive
provides an overview of the structure of a hedge and its communities.
It should contain a short and informative text that is easy to understand for laypeople and appeals to children and adults alike.
In addition, it should be designed as an information poster suitable for school lessons and be accessible to the general public.
For this reason, the poster was repeatedly presented to teachers, lay people and children during its development in order to make it even more concise and effective.
The coloured display board, which is now also available in postcard format, can now be used for school lessons.
At the same time, it is possible for corporations, property owners, authorities etc. to use the poster free of charge on site.
However, this was only possible with the support of sponsors and helpers: Besides the idealistic and financial support of the project by the OLB Oldenburg and the company “Umweltschutz Nord”, NABU Delmenhorst and the district government of Weser-Ems have agreed to take care of the distribution of the posters.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their commitment.
My special thanks go to Mr. Georg Müller who has put his ideas into practice with perseverance and persistence and who has contributed a great deal to the protection and preservation of the wall hedges through his exemplary work and will certainly continue to do so in the future.
Speech Georg Müller
Wildeshausen, the 17.06.2002
Dear Minister Bartels, Dr. Friedmann, Director Grewing, Member of the State Parliament Schack, Prof. Dr. Akkermann, Ms. Spiecker, Mr. Poetzsch Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends of nature and home.
I am very pleased that the poster campaign is starting today, that so many of you have come and that the Wallhecken exhibition can be opened. I would like to thank you, Minister Bartels, for your patronage of my action and exhibition and for your kind words. I would like to thank the Oldenburgische Landesbank for its generous financial support of the poster campaign, for the beautiful space you have made available for today’s event and exhibition. I would also like to thank the company Umweltschutz Nord, which also supported the printing of the posters with a considerable amount of money, as well as the Biologische Schutzgemeinschaft Weser-Ems, represented by Prof. Dr. Akkermann, and especially the Naturschutzbund Delmenhorst, represented by Mrs. Margitta Spiecker. I would also like to thank all the others who helped to make this campaign possible.
With this day, an old request comes true for me: to put wall hedges in the center of public interest. It is for the receipt of the wall hedges a large step, which must follow however still many.
Wall hedges, ladies and gentlemen, are among the crown jewels of our landscape. Without wall hedges our landscape would be poorer by one of its most beautiful and important landscape components. For thousands of years, wall hedges have accompanied us and are part of our home, landscape and culture. Countless generations have built and used them. Many names derive directly from wall hedges, such as Hagen, Hagedorn etc. Thousands of animal and plant species call them home and protection. It is therefore particularly sad that a large number of these landscape jewels, namely over 100,000 km of wall hedges in northern Germany, have been destroyed despite legal protection. Over 80% of the wall hedges still existing today are and will be severely damaged. Every year 300 – 500 km of hedgerows are destroyed illegally in northern Germany. This is for me in particular incentive to stand up for the wall hedges, to carry out this poster campaign and to advertise for understanding in the population for the preservation of the wall hedges by the wall hedge exhibition.
But this alone is not enough. Without legal changes further wall hedges will be irrevocably destroyed. The wall hedge death and with it also the extinction of species will continue to rage. Quite a few employees in the nature conservation authorities complain about a lack of employees and political influence in the case of hedge hedge falls. The completely insufficient hedge hedge hedge supervision is also justified by the fact that superiors only stop them from taking action when a hedge fall becomes public or nature conservation associations complain about it. Wall hedge shows are again mandatory, similar to the water shows. Degraded wall hedges must be restored and new ones created. My home town of Ganderkesee has made a start in this respect, where a total of well over 10,000 metres of wall hedges have been created in the last 10 years. But in the same period of time, just as many have disappeared again, and that is a big problem. This must stop immediately. The government of the state of Lower Saxony is called upon here, but not only them, but all of us! Species and landscape protection concerns us all, because we are not talking about its destruction in the Third World, but on our own doorstep.
It is not for nothing that the horned violet has been voted Flower of the Year 2002; it is intended to draw attention to the destruction of its habitat, in northern Germany especially the hedgerows.
The following brief overview of the origins and aims of the poster campaign may provide information on why a poster campaign is necessary.
The posters were made by me between 1998 – 2000.
The following criteria should be fulfilled.
if possible, a short but comprehensive quick overview of the construction of a hedge and its communities.
give a concise but informative text, which is at the same time easy to understand for laymen.
appeals to children and adults alike.
is suitable for school lessons.
is suitable as an information poster
to make it accessible to the general public, schools and authorities
beauty of the hedge landscape.
An eye-catcher, arouse curiosity.
Already during the development of the black and white poster (outline drawing) I presented this and the accompanying text again and again to teachers, but also to laymen or children to get an idea of their reactions. In order to present the wall hedge poster even more effectively, I decided last year to design it in colour and to provide postcards with the motif. The first drawing I had made as a black and white outline drawing (learning aid). While colouring, children discover the variety of a hedge! It is a very special concern of mine to introduce children to the habitat of the wall hedge in a playful way. How else are children supposed to show understanding, insight and care for this old part of the cultural landscape? We as administrators of our landscape owe it to our future generations to preserve it in its diversity!
After this short appeal back to the posters
The poster is designed in such a way that the viewer feels attracted by the wall hedges and the life in them. He associates with it a reminder of his childhood, a feeling of well-being, security, beauty and relaxation. But also the desire to take a walk through such a landscape, the scent of elderberry is in the air, the birds are chirping. The longing for an intact and harmonious landscape is awakened and much, much more.
There is now the possibility that the executing bodies, property owners, etc., in the case of newly created or maintained wall hedges, can use the poster on site to inform the population why wall hedges are being created or restored today (positive advertising). Why not say, what one makes positive for nature and landscape! In this way, the understanding for such measures is awakened in the population and positively influenced.
Already in 1999, when the first poster was created, I had the idea to distribute this poster and the outline drawing to as many offices and schools as possible free of charge. For this purpose I needed sponsors.
During a preliminary talk on a wall hedge lecture I had with the first chairwoman of the Delmenhorst branch of NABU, I explained my idea and my concept and found an open-minded and very committed comrade-in-arms in Mrs Spiecker.
Two months later Mrs Spiecker and I met at the OLB in Oldenburg and explained my idea and plans. The contact person at the OLB, Mr. Koch, signalled interest, and a few weeks later the final approval was given to Ms. Spiecker and NABU Delmenhorst. The main sponsor was found.
However, as the sum provided by the OLB via NABU Delmenhorst was not sufficient, I contacted Mr. Poetzsch from the company Umweltschutz Nord. The company Umweltschutz Nord also provided me with a considerable amount of money without hesitation, unbureaucratically and quickly.
The district government, through Mr. Drieling, spontaneously promised me on request to take over the entire distribution of the posters for the schools and offices in the area of the district government Weser-Ems. This meant that one of the biggest concerns, namely the distribution of the posters to the target groups, was over.
Prof. Dr. Akkermann, as the first chairman of BSH, also told me of his support in distributing the posters and postcards via BSH. This clarified the distribution.
Mrs. Spiecker from NABU Delmenhorst declared herself willing to take over the distribution for the area of the city of Delmenhorst and to act as a sponsor for the OLB. Mrs. Spiecker has supported this project from the very beginning and without restriction very benevolently and actively. Without her, the posters might have been printed months later. She was the one who almost encouraged me to finally have the poster printed. She deserves a special applause and thanks!
Mr Christian Schack, Member of the State Parliament, established contact with Mr Uwe Bartels, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry of Lower Saxony, who, at my request, spontaneously and without hesitation took over the patronage of my action and exhibition. Thus the action receives emphasis and an appreciation appropriate to the topic. Through this signal it will become known far beyond our region, also in Lower Saxony and the entire North German region.
At this point I have a special request to make to Minister Bartels:
Since there are wall hedges not only in the Weser-Ems area, but also, for example, in the Braunschweig or Osnabrück area, would it be possible to examine whether the state would make it possible to distribute the posters, as well as the possible reproduction, for the whole of Lower Saxony? I would be pleased. Next, I am planning a postcard campaign for children, under the motto “Wallhecken: Kinder schreiben der Regierung”. Here wall hedge postcards are to be distributed free of charge to all schools in the state, so that children can communicate their opinion about wall hedges to the state government. By the way, just like for my new wall hedge book, sponsors are being sought here! Before I forget: the wall hedges now have a voice on the Internet, at www.wallhecke.de you can read up on some interesting facts about wall hedges. So also tomorrow morning the today’s speeches and some photos of this event.
A few words about the exhibition:
The exhibition has the task of informing the general public about the origin, value and use of hedge walls.
I had already designed and produced the exhibition in 1989. But at that time there were only five posters. In the course of time the exhibition grew to nineteen posters today and is, as far as I know, the only one of its kind in the world on the subject of wall hedges. It is designed in such a way that the viewer can easily understand the creation, development, function, new construction, maintenance, etc. by means of the photos and texts shown in a rough framework.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Speech by Mrs. Margitta Spiecker, first chairperson of NABU Delmenhorst.
Dear Minister Bartels, dear Dr. Friedmann, dear guests and friends of nature, a few words of thanks are, I think, appropriate.
>NABU -Delmenhorst has been intensively engaged in the protection of wall hedges for about 12 years
> when creativity and nature conservation ideas meet, it looks like the poster presented by the Wallhecken expert and author, Mr. Georg Müller
>How better to convey the protection of nature, especially the “habitat of the hedge”, than with this visual environmental education measure.
>We are glad to have won again the OLB as sponsor, this time in the Oldenburger Land, where also wall hedges are at home.
>For this I would like to thank you very much, but my special thanks go to you, Mr Koch and you, Mr Grewing, for the patient preparations until today.
>I would also like to thank the company “Umweltschutz-Nord”, which also sponsored this “Wallhecken poster campaign”.
>I thank you for your attention and I am now pleased to give the floor to Prof. Dr. Akkermann (of UNI Vechta FB Biology)
Speech by Prof. Dr. Remmer Akkermann is missing, will be added later!
Addendum to the lecture in Potshausen on 17.04.2002
Poster / Poster, postcard action
The origin of the hedge drawing.
The posters were made by me between 1998 – 2000.
Already during the creation the main focus was to develop a poster that:
A. offers a concise but at the same time comprehensive overview of the structure of a hedge and its communities.
B: a concise but informative text, which is at the same time easy to understand for laymen.
C. addresses children and adults alike.
D. is suitable for school lessons.
E:it is suitable as an information poster
F: to make it accessible to the general public, schools and public authorities
Already during the development of the black and white poster (outline drawing), I repeatedly presented this and the accompanying text to teachers as well as laymen and children in order to get an idea of their reactions. In order to present the rear wall poster even more effectively, I decided last year to design it in colour and add the motif to postcards. It is now possible to use the poster for school lessons. At the same time it is now possible that the executing bodies, property owners etc., in case of newly created or maintained hedge walls, can use the poster on site, in order to inform the population why today hedge walls are newly created or repaired (positive advertising). Why not say, what one makes positive for nature and landscape! This has a positive effect on the understanding of the population for such measures.
The following drawings were made by me between 1983 – 1995.
A “hedge” is a dense, linear, living and mostly planted plantation of trees and shrubs standing in a row (“living fence”), which very often serves as a property fence. The height and width of the hedge is not fixed. These are distinguished by the height of the hedge, the location, the type of wood, the type of planting and the wood treatment. The origin of the hedge goes back to probably 1.8 million years ago.
The ground level hedge is only called “hedge”, the hedge standing on a rampart is called “wall hedge”, the hedge standing on a wall is called “wall hedge” and the hedge consisting of branches (dead wood) or dry shrubs is called “dry shrub hedge” or “dead wood hedge”. The hedge consisting only of shrubs is called “shrub hedge”, if the shrubs are bent, braided, bent or laid, they are “bent”, “braided”, “bent” or “laid hedges”. If the hedges are only 0.1-1 m high, they are called “low hedges”, they are 1.1-3 m high as “low hedges”, from a height of 3.1-6 m as “high hedges”, above that as “tree hedges”. Only trees or shrubs scattered in a row and standing alone are called “single trees” or “single shrubs”. “Clipped hedges”, “cross hedges” etc. belong to the plant styles. If the hedge consists mainly of e.g. red beech or hawthorn, it is called a “red beech” or “hawthorn hedge”, etc.
Hedges are divided into seven main categories
Live hedges Dead or dry shrub hedges
Ground level hedges
Earth wall hedges
Earthstone wall hedges
Wall or field wall hedges
Peat wall hedges
The dead or dry shrub hedge is again divided into at least 5 further categories.
The living hedges are divided into at least 4 sub-categories (vegetation types), depending on the height of the trees and shrubs, and into more than 250 different hedge styles.
Low hedges: The low hedge consists of shrubs cut back several times a year from above and the side, which are about 0.3-1 m high and up to 3 m wide. It is space-saving, but often requires very extensive care. The wind is hardly or not at all slowed down and the diversity of species is rather limited.
Hedging down: The low hedge is 1-2 m high and up to 3 m wide. It consists of shrubs and trees cut back annually. It is space-saving, but requires annual pruning, which is costly. The wind is hardly slowed down and the diversity of species is rather limited in hedges that are less than 1 m wide and only 1 m high. If the hedges are wider and higher than 1 m, species diversity increases proportionally with the hedge width.
High hedges: They reach a height of 2-6 m, the width is about 5 m and more, depending on pruning measures. High hedges consist of shrubs and often of young or low trees. They slow down the wind, provide firewood and give a distinctive structure to the landscape. Depending on the type of shrub, pruning takes place at a rhythm of about 10-15 years. If, for example, hazelnut, hawthorn and elderberry are used, pruning is usually not carried out because these shrubs hardly ever grow higher than 6 metres. The biodiversity is very high.
Tree hedges with dense shrub cover: Tree hedges consist of rows of trees, the height and width of which depend on the respective tree and shrub cover. They have dense shrub vegetation and produce timber, are wind-breaking, can serve as a screen and structure the landscape. They have an exceptionally high biodiversity.
Presentation of the book “Europas Feldeinfriedungen” – a gift from the National Hedge Laying Society – by the author to Charles the Prince of Wales at the Duchy Home Farm. Tetbury 21 February 2015
Awarded the Golden Medlar (Gouden Medlar) 2014 of the Union of Netherlands Culturlandschap
for the extremely precise survey and definition of a form of pan-European cultural expression that is characteristic of the whole of Europe: the demarcation of land (field boundaries).
I have catalogued your extraordinary book on European field incursions for our collection… Congratulations on your remarkable publication!
Under this title, G. Müller presents the most comprehensive work ever published on Europe’s hedges, wall hedges, field walls and other diverse types of field enclosures. With its rich illustrations, it shows a previously undreamt-of variety of hedges and other field boundaries, most of which shape the landscape
The indexing available for all European countries not only represents an invaluable contribution to comparative cultural landscape research, but also provides valuable impulses for raising public awareness of a common piece of European cultural history.
Georg Müller has written a fabulous book that will be used as a standard reference work for years to come. The research for the book began as early as 1983 and allows insights into the results of personal visits to more than 20,000 kilometres of field enclosures in 32 European countries.
Encyclopedia of the hedges and field walls of Europe…All in all, an extremely comprehensive basic work, which hardly misses any aspect and provides precise definitions, descriptions, data, cultural history and experiences for all questions. Greatest respect for this comprehensive work in a field of landscape analysis that has been neglected until now!
I own the 2 volumes “Europas Feldeinfriedungen” €, and I am very enthusiastic.
As a reference book for technology, architectural styles, craftsmanship and cultural landscapes, there is nothing comparable on the market. For the areas of landscape planning, architecture, garden design, art, culture, these volumes are suitable for teachers and students
Georg Müller … one of these experts, if not the expert in the field of fence research. His 1,280-page book “Europas Feldeinfriedungen” is considered a standard work among European vegetation scientists and geobiologists. Müller has written the most comprehensive documentation on Europe’s hedges, wall hedges, field walls and other field enclosures. The book is the result of his research work: For almost 40 years Müller has been categorizing fences and landscape boundaries…
Today I received your two very impressive volumes of European field enclosures. Congratulations on this milestone! It will be a great help for my lectures in landscape history at the University of Groningen.
“…and although I was pre-informed, I was totally exhausted. This is not an “opus magnum” as the Delmenhorst courier writes, but an “opus maximum”
The binding is flawless, and the abundance of the well reproduced photos and drawings alone is overwhelming. This is truly a life’s work, as I have hardly ever experienced it in this scope and presentation before. You have done an invaluable service to the cause and have set yourself a monument…”
…large overview of important aspects of the cultural landscape…
…the books arrived safely today! I am very excited to read them and very proud to have been part of a small part of the development. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement, …
I have the book – it looks fantastic!
The books look very nice and I really enjoy reading in them. The photos and illustrations… look great . Because of the many very useful information the books will always be a treasure and I am very proud to be connected with your work on a small way.
A huge book, but yes, expensive.
Sounds like a monumental achievement Pat. It is a gift to many countries all over Europe that Georg visited over the 30 years it took him so long to finish the book.
Nick Aitken and I have talked about this book on a number of occasions and we have thought about investing in this book. I think it is time to put our money on the table.
I don’t think it’s cheap, but what else can you expect from such a huge document and such a wonderful work.
Thanks for the review Pat
This looks like a great work, thanks Pat for highlighting it. It’s sure to be on the book wish list.
I congratulate you most sincerely on the publication of this truly comprehensive European standard work on European field infrastructures that is currently available in Europe. I find it difficult to describe the significance of this great work…Read More
You have earned the Wallhecken Gold Medal with your work. You stand scientifically at the top of the stairs. Erika and I congratulate you warmly on this huge work. We admire you that you had the strength and endurance to complete this monumental work. Also we at the J.E.C. are proud of you and your work… Read More
… …and congratulate you on completing this standard task. Since they arrived, I have been reading them incessantly, they are fascinating and I am not aware of any other books of this kind. They give an insight into a long neglected area of research and illustrate something very precious that needs to be preserved.
The effort you have invested in travel, in beautiful photographs, in measurements and drawings, in the quality of the work, in the whole enterprise, makes these books indeed. something special…Read More
First of all, I would like to compliment you on the amazing work you have done over the years. It is great that this study on fencing and the hedges has been carried out for Europe. We know what heritage we have and we know what we have to protect. Education is the basis of all this and I think your books are brilliant for that purpose.
In the context of a meeting of the professorship for landscape conservation (University of Freiburg), Professor Konold presented us with your two new works… briefly introduced us. I was able to leaf through the two volumes …
First of all, congratulations for the comprehensive and in-depth treatment of the topic. A standard work on Europe’s cultural landscapes, which will also deserve wider attention outside the German-speaking world.
Her work is probably the most comprehensive documentation of cultural monuments made of natural, partly perishable materials that exists!
Incredible and fascinating, what a wealth of forms the woven hedges have. It is very important that you have documented these techniques so accurately, because it would be a pity if this art were to be forgotten once and for all.
…the books are beautiful and a wonderful reference work on the subject. So that everyone can enjoy our landscape before some of it disappears from our landscape forever.
These volumes are a very valuable collection because of their detailed content and are appreciated by all of us who have been lucky enough to own them. . It is especially nice that we know that the wonderful author who worked so hard has collected and preserved this information for future generations. I have deep respect for this, your work.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Thank you, I am very impressed with the edition of your book and it exceeds my expectations. Ingenious! You should be very proud.
And I agree with the written introductions of Professors Dover, Meiners and Weber.
If I were “Camilla” I would give it to Prince Charles for his birthday, he is a great advocate of organic farming and his fields are surrounded by traditional hedges.
Thank you very much for your wonderful book, which arrived this week. We enjoy reading it very much and congratulate you on your excellent work.
I congratulate you on this extraordinary work! Fantastic.
The subject certainly needs German precision, which they have also brought to the table. I bought the volumes because of the stone walls, but I discovered that many other types of enclosures exist in Europe. Congratulations on this wonderfully solved task. The volumes are an honour for you and a reminder to those who created so many rich landscapes before us. I am very happy that you have documented our cultural heritage so well, but on the other hand I am very sad about its disappearance. Everything is just a moment in time.
I have catalogued your extraordinary book on European field incursions for our collection… Congratulations on your remarkable publication!
wallhecke.de is a forum for all those who are interested in the subject of wallhedges and curtsies, either professionally or privately. It is to inform to the different topics approximately around the barrier hedges and Knicks, like e.g. emergence, new plant, care, re-establishment, habitat, protection, rights, wind and erosion protection.
If you have any questions please contact us by e-mail: mail - at - wallhecke.de