Our meadows, our asset: Protecting meadows through regional development in the Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park

Preserving the diversity of plants and animals © Dieter Manhart
Preserving the diversity of plants and animals © Dieter Manhart

The Nature Park owes its great diversity of plants and animals to its mosaic-like cultural landscape and the extensively used meadows. Global changes are forcing many agricultural businesses to specialise or shut up shop. A consequence of this are meadows that are no longer managed and increasingly turning into woodland. To counteract this trend and preserve diversity in the Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park, a nature park brand is under development. This label stands for management compatible with nature and gives the businesses’ products added ecological value.

The Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park contains the municipalities of Aggsbach Markt, Emmersdorf, Maria Laach, Mühldorf, Raxendorf, Spitz and Weiten. It covers an area of 11,558 hectares and offers a habitat for a large number of endangered species. These include not only rare orchids, the Siberian iris, the European green lizard, the eagle-owl and various types of blue-winged sparrowhawks but also many lesser-known animals and plants that can hardly be found anywhere else. Yet as agriculture on the Jauerling undergoes increasing structural changes, from small-scale dairy farming to abandonment, leasing and alternative forms of production (often the growing of Christmas trees), there are increasingly fewer ever fewer habits for these species.

A solution can be found through the cooperation with farmers and regional businesses. Not only can this secure local and regional markets for producers but also guarantee that a significant portion of the endangered habitats of many species of animals and plants are preserved.

The creation of a “Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park brand” should create an incentive for the businesses. This brand presumes the management of designated areas in the Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park that is compatible with nature. In return, participating companies can market and sell their products under the “Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park brand”. In addition, opportunities will be provided to place these products in regional sales outlets, thus creating new distribution possibilities.

Discussed in the project selection committee: 21.11.2018
Project promoter: Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park
Funding level: 80%
Project duration: 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2021
Supported by the federal government, the federal province and the European Union (LEADER).

created on 28.11.2019