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Woodland environmental programme

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Knoblochsaue forestation programme at the edge of the Kühkopf-Knoblochsaue nature reserve (Photo: Markus Bernards for FAIR)

In order to compensate for the clearing of woodland, the FAIR project will not only develop a larger new area, it will also redevelop existing woodland to create a more ecologically enriched and valuable habitat:

Creation of protected woodland zones
New homes for bats
Forest reconstruction measures Totenberge

Reforestation and new developments

Most of the forest affected by FAIR, 16.3 hectares, will be replanted on what is now the FAIR construction site and in its immediate vicinity, e.g. in areas currently used to stockpile excavated earth. FAIR will also be transforming roughly 7.6 hectares of unforested land into woodland (compensatory planting). In 2007, the first saplings were planted on an approximately 1.6-hectare section of Knoblochsaue, located close to Riedstadt. The remaining sections earmarked for woodland development are located in the Wixhausen (close to B3 and Hahnwiesenbach) and Arheilgen district (Täubcheshöhle and Kalkofen) and close to Ober-Ramstadt.

By the time FAIR has been completed, a total of 23.9 hectares of woodland will have been cleared. 23.9 hectares will be replanted or have already been replanted:


When Area Location
2007 1.6 hectares Knoblochsaue close to Riedstadt
2012 2.2 hectares Täubcheshöhle, Darmstadt-Arheilgen district (close to B3/Langener Strasse) (FAIR employees planted trees)
2012 1.8 hectares Wembach district close to Ober-Ramstadt
After 2018 1.7 hectares Close to the Altes Forsthaus in Kalkofen, Darmstadt-Arheilgen district
After 2018 5.4 hectares Outside the construction area, on construction site infrastructure areas or temporary earth stockpiling sites
After 2022 10.9 hectares On the FAIR site once construction work has been completed
After 2022 0,3 hectares Darmstadt-Wixhausen district (close to B3 and Hahnwiesenbach) once construction work has been completed (container offices "Prinzenschneise")


Protected woodland zones

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Creation of a protected zone for the '106 plot' of woodland located on the edge of the Mörsbacher Grund conservation area (Photo: Markus Bernards for FAIR)

Two sections of woodland in Mörsbacher Grund and in Kalkofen (both located close to the construction site) will be declared protected or naturally unforested zones, i.e. they will not be developed as forestland. FAIR will cover the cost of this seven-hectare initiative. Trees will no longer be felled and dead wood will no longer be removed, thus allowing nature to take its natural course. The establishment of protected zones creates a safe haven for plants and animals whilst also promoting diversity.


New homes for bats

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Inspection of hollow tree trunks before felling (Photo: PGNU for FAIR)
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Bat box in Mörsbacher Grund (Photo: Markus Bernards for FAIR)

For the site's bats, some of whom may have decided to hibernate or make their dens in hollow tree trunks and crevices in the area surrounding the construction site between spring and autumn, FAIR has installed 130 bat boxes in Mörsbacher Grund. Before clearing work began in autumn 2011, all hollow tree trunks that looked like potential hibernation dens were inspected using an endoscopic camera to check that no animals were inside before being sealed.


Forest reconstruction measures Totenberge

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Planting in April 2013 (Photo: Gaby Otto for FAIR)

In February 2013 areas of 4.3 hectares in the forested area Totenberge were prepared for forest reconstruction. The forest transformation is a nature conservation measure with the objective of improving the quality of the forest in the long term.

Two partial areas of Totenberge had to date been virtually fully populated with poplars and pine trees. The nutrients in the soils there, however, correspond to the needs of a mixed forest such as that which would naturally colonise these areas. For this reason, in the spring beech, oak and other less common broadleaf trees have been planted. In the first years a veterinary fence is to ensure that the new saplings can develop without being impacted by damage caused by roe deer. The fence will be removed later. Within as little as four to five years the trees will already have reached a height of two metres. In the medium to long term a cohesive mixed forest is to be created.


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