Responsibility towards nature
As a family business, we have a responsibility to preserve nature's treasures and to care for them sustainably. No intact peatlands may be used for peat extraction, as they are under strict nature conservation. Therefore, only already drained raised bog areas are available for peat extraction, which were drained as part of settlement programmes or were used as agricultural land.
After peat cutting, the areas are not left fallow by us, but it is our aim to return the area to nature. Within the framework of the Lower Saxony Peatland Protection Programme, an intact peatland area is being restored. We are in close contact with nature conservation associations and the district. Drainage ditches are closed so that rainwater remains on the land in a controlled manner. The vegetation after peat cutting begins with swales and fescue grass communities. In particular, narrow-leaved cotton grass and sphagnum mosses are the first plants to settle on renaturalised areas. In addition, rewetted areas provide ideal resting places for birds.
We not only apply our experience and responsibility of the renaturation programme in Germany, but also carry it out on our peatland areas in the Baltic States.
Unique research project
Currently, the HAWITA Group is involved in the renaturation of a raised bog in the district of Diepholz (Lower Saxony). In cooperation with the Dümmer Nature Conservation Ring and the district administration, a research project is underway to develop practical guidelines for moor restoration and to improve the living conditions of the breeding and resting birds that settle there. The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) has funded the project with 95,000 euros.
HAWITA shareholder Simon Tabeling is aware of his responsibility. "We have only borrowed nature's treasures," Tabeling emphasises. We want to contribute to the renaturation of peatlands as best we can in the future."
More info on peat cutting and renaturation at www.erden-substrate.info.