Schwaförden – What you shouldn’t do: Touch the fence. He’s there too, but district forester Marco Baker and Galloway breeder Alexander Roklavsky both point it out again. If you touch it anyway, you know what happens when you touch an electric fence. Twelve Galloway one, surrounded with mothers and their calves.
They stand on an area of nine hectares to the north of Waldpadagogiczentrum hanhorsti (WPZ) at the level of “Horster Graben” in Schwafjorden. And they are station number nine on the new Aardman Cycle Path, which the state forests have just inaugurated. Nanu? Are the forest dwellers now going under the livestock? Not at all.
The state’s forests consist of not only forests, but also grasslands and pastures. Overall there is about 100 hectares of grassland in the entire forest department. And for some of them, the state’s forests in Schwafjorden are launching a new grazing project.
The forest is reclaiming ancient pastures
These have areas that are wetter than others. And so they could not be cut as it would be necessary. In this way, shoots can take root, and the forest gradually conquers more areas.
Which really isn’t a bad idea. But: “We’ve lost a lot of old pastures in the last few decades,” explains Marco Baker. “As a public forestry office, we want to manage these grasslands as ecologically and sustainably as possible.” The political dialogue on the “Lower Saxony Way” clearly articulated this for their regions of the state. “From our point of view, extensive grazing, which has occurred practically rarely, is of particular importance from the point of view of nature conservation compared to extensive mowing and even more intensive mowing.”
With Alexander Roklavsky he has found a perfectly suitable collaborative partner: it is an ecologically functioning company with a beautiful and exciting marketing idea that can gradually take over areas throughout the forestry department, explains Revierforster Becker. Huh.
Roklavsky’s “Gallowezucht Steinhuder Meir” currently includes about 30 dams, as well as their offspring and bulls. Only a portion has been relocated to Schwaforden, here the herd is to be gradually increased.
The large area is particularly suitable for Galloway
The breeder is pleased to say that the area of Schwaforden is especially suitable for animals. Here you’ll have a particularly big run-out in “completely different areas”: one area will have more water, another will have shade under trees. Trees on which animals could “scrub” themselves. Still other areas are drier or more suitable for lying down.
Roclaski’s Galloways is also outdoors all year round. They are very reliable, they may even come if cyclists or passersby stand silently towards the audience. “Please don’t eat”asks the breeder. “Better just observe”, wishes the District Forester. The nine hectares that are now separated are a little further off the cycle path, so all that’s left is to see.
In the future, the number of animals should be about 20 hectares “Horster Graben” take care. Roklavsky explains that the herd should gradually increase to a maximum of 20 to 30 animals. Cattle gnaw the seedlings, but do not touch the existing trees. It is said that they are good feed converters. You don’t actually have to feed them, he just provides his animals with salt licks for their mineral supply. The frugal and strong breed of cattle originally came from the south-west of Scotland. They are peaceful and resilient.
In case you are wondering what such an animal weighs: Roklavsky explains that cows with a height of 124 cm weigh about 600 kg and bulls with a height of about 136 cm weigh 900 kg. Then the animals are about two to three years old.
“Sustainable Animal Husbandry in Organic Agriculture”
Most calves are slaughtered, with Roklowski offering leasing models where meat lovers lease a quarter or half of the animal. They then pay a monthly fee, receive information and photos about “their” Galloway cattle – and it will also be vacuum-packed in their home after slaughter.
For Roclavaxi this means “supporting species-appropriate and sustainable animal husbandry in organic farming” and the customer then knows “where does meat come from“.
The new grazing project in the state’s forests is to be implemented in other areas of the state’s forests as well. And no, the forest dwellers do not go under the livestock. Alexander Roklavsky continues to take care of them, and of course the forest dwellers also keep an eye on the animals.
However, animals must be included in the work at the Hahnhorst Forest Education Center. School projects can be planned as soon as possible only after the summer vacations. To forest dwellers, “broad cattle” refers to ancient pastures in the forest: “This enables us to preserve areas that cannot be cut down as meadows and to keep them free of trees. “
from Sylvia Vendto
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