This week we started an important nature conservation measure in the part area "Eselsbett". A specialized company from Bavaria is building several flat dams in the central section of the nature conservation area. They use a specialized moor excavator which applies only low pressure to the soil and can therefore move in wet areas without sinking or destroying the vegetation. The dams shall keep the water in the area for a longer time which facilitates the growth of peat moss and initiates the natural development of the moor on the long run. The water balance of this moor was destroyed by peat mining in the past, which led to scub encroachment by willow trees during the last few decades. Those willows have been removed in winter 2016/2017. Raising the water level by means of peat dams shall also impede a recolonization of willow trees in the future.
This measure has been planned and modulated for several years. The responsible parties (Biologische Station Kreis Paderborn – Senne, Regionalforstamt Hochstift and state NRW) arranged a detailed investigation of the water balance beforehand. Based on this investigation a renaturation plan was developed and discussed with experts from other projects in order to adjust it to the special conditions in the part area "Eselsbett". The thick willow cover and the special drainage conditions have been particularly challenging. Sealing drainage ditches is not a suitable measure in this area, because of the sloping site and the invisibility of the darinage ditches - the water needs to be kept back by flat peat dams.