Orchards in Germany

Ecological importance, stock situation and need for action

Project leadership: Prof. Dr. Klaus Henle
Administrative Management: Dr. Annegret Grimm-Seyfarth
Staff responsible: Marie-Luise Hüttner
Funded by: German federal agency for nature conservation https://www.bfn.de/
Project duration: 2021 - 2022
Cooperation Partners: NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland https://www.nabu.de/

Project Description

For decades meadow orchards are declining in Germany and Europe on a large scale. Important influencing factors are lower profitability compared to intensive crops and a falling demand for fruit from meadow orchard stocks.

As a result, various ecological niches are being lost. Including both tall fruit trees with dead wood, bark structures or tree hollows, als well as the diverse offer of flowers in extensively used grassland. 

Therefore the aim of the project is to show the ecological and nature conservation significance of meadow orchards on greenland and farmland.

Streuobstwiese im Frühjahr
Meadow orchard in spring

In addition, a nationwide overview of the stock situation and its development is compiled based on existing geodata on meadow orchards.

Furtermore, an analysis of the past and current hazard factors and causes is carried out. Finally, action requirement and proposals on how to counteract the decline of meadow orchards are derived.

Methodically the project is based on the evaluation of existing literature and statistics, the analysis of model regions and expert interviews in the field of meadow orchards.