Environmental Diploma at FAIR

Kids discover bats

Searching for bats. (Photo: Markus Bernards for FAIR)

In guided tours of the woodland close to the FAIR construction site three groups of schoolchildren learned where bats hide during the day, how they live, and how these rare animals can be protected. Their target was the wooded area at Mörsbacher Grund nature reserve. Three years ago FAIR had a total of 130 bat boxes placed in position as a replacement for hollows in the trees which had to be felled for the construction of FAIR. The guided tours were organized by FAIR as part of the environmental learning program “Environmental Diploma” offered by the City of Science Darmstadt.


“I can see one!” shouts Tobias. He is standing beneath a bat box and uses a pocket lamp to light up the bat box. And indeed: Right at the top of the elongated box hangs something small and brown, a fluffy ball with ears – a bat. The children are in luck, for bats frequently change their quarters. Usually all that people find in the boxes are small black crumbs of excrement, which look like mouse droppings. In addition to bat boxes, the flying mammals also like to spend their days in holes made by woodpeckers, in crevices in trees or in bark flaking off a tree – in no time at all the children have discovered numerous hidings places for bats. What bats eat, what they do throughout the year and how roosts can be created for these mammals are explained afterwards by the bat expert Anna Pietsch from Planning Group Nature and Environment (PGNU), a company that has been commissioned with consulting on ecological construction for FAIR. At the end of the guided tour the children are given not just a FAIR stamp in their Environmental Diploma booklets – as proof of having completed the tour – but also a construction manual for a bat box that can be hung in the garden at home.


The series of projects for the Darmstadt Environmental Diploma is organized every year from the beginning of spring through to the summer vacation, and is aimed at children in grades 4 to 6. By proving that they have participated at six events, at the end of the project the children are honored – publicly in the framework of the Environmental Information Fair – with an Environmental Diploma certificate.


The bat boxes at Mörsbacher Grund, which PGNU placed in position on behalf of FAIR, are part of the environmental compensation measures for the construction of the particle accelerator.


How to build a bat box

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