New breeding ponds for amphibians are currently being created in the floodplains of the rivers Oker and Schunter within the city of Brunswick. A total of 11 are to be created over the next weeks, the preparatory work for this is already in full flow. Individual sites for conservation measures were moved on request of Brunswick City Council, to prepare them for the search for undetonated bombs from World War II.
Even after more than 70 years after the end of the war you have to expect undetonated bombs, munition and similar material in the soil in many places within the boundary of the city of Brunswick. These represent significant risks to any work involving diggers. NABU awarded a contract to a specialist company to search for and remove suspicious objects. Thankfully only nails, wire and other types of metal were found.
The next step is to cut back woody vegetation at some existing ponds at Bevenroder Straße at Braunschweig-Querum. To keep the pond open in the long term, vegetation is cut back first and then the roots are removed with a digger. “Otherwise the woody vegetation would grow back and, in a few years, everything would look like before”, explains the NABU construction manager Joachim Neumann. “The sustainability of the conservation measures is a critical point of the overall Project”.
The last step will be the creation of new ponds at the river Schunter near Querum along the river Oker in the area of Veltenhof.
“The tender exercise is completed, the contract has been awarded, we hope that the currently dry conditions can be used for the earthworks with the digger”, explains NABU project manager Dr Markus Richter. “We are especially grateful to the city of Brunswick for their excellent cooperation. Without it, the delivery of this fairly complex conservation measure would not have been possible”. The City Council did not just provide nearly all of the sites but also contributed financially to the project. The granting of necessary permits preceded quickly and in an unbureaucratic way. ”We are very pleased that a local citizen was willing to provide his property for the creation of a new pond”, says Dr Richter.
For next year, more pond creations in the area of the city of Brunswick are planned. Already in 2016 amphibian ponds along the river Schunter near the village of Hondelage were created as part of the LIFE floodplain amphibians project. The long-term goal is a continuous network of habitats for amphibians from Wendhausen in the East via the rivers Schunter and Oker all the way to Walle in the West. Particularly the currently isolated populations of the tree frog are due to be connected with each other, but also the great crested newt and further species will benefit from the conservation measures.
Image: restored pond, Joachim Neumann, NABU Lower Saxony