Climate protection

Per square meter at least 70 KG CO₂ are permanently stored in the primeval forest reserve. In the coming 50 years a further 50 KG CO₂ per square meter will be bound.

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Beech forests from age 180 have a share of only 0,16 percent of Germany's land area.


By nature, over 90 percent of Germany would be covered by forest, most of it beech or beech/oak mixed forests.

These forests are characterized by long-lasting stability, disturbances in the form of storms or fire are foreign to them. Many highly specialised animal and plant species have adapted to such permanent forests. Most of them are dependent on particularly old trees; for example, the rare woodpecker species can only colonise beech forests from a tree age of 200 years.

Old beech forests are the rainforests of Europe, and similar to the tropics, they are in a very bad way. Today, we no longer find any primeval forests in Germany, and the old trees are also becoming increasingly rare:

Beech forests from the age of 180 have only a 0.16 percent share of the land area. And even these small remaining areas are still managed, so that as a rule only a third of the trees remain in these old-growth forests. Deadwood, which is present in primeval forests with about 20,000 cubic metres of wood per square kilometre and is an important habitat for 3,000 species of insects and fungi, is largely absent in managed forests

Overall, the already small area continues to shrink, as deforestation continues even in nature reserves.

From 5 square meters beech forest:

For areas of 5 m² or more we will gladly send you a certificate.
Please indicate the name of the donor or the presentee/owner.

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From 25 square metres of beech forest:

  • A copy signed by Peter Wohlleben "Paperback - The secret life of the trees"
  • A personal certificate with the coordinates of the protected area - also available as a gift certificate

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From 50 square metres of beech forest:

  • A copy signed by Peter Wohlleben "Paperback - The secret life of the trees"
  • A personal certificate with the coordinates of the protected area - also available as a gift certificate
  • Free participation in a guided tour of the protected area with a maximum of two people on 18 July or 06 September 2020

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From 500 square metres of beech forest:

  • A personal certificate with the coordinates of the protected area - also available as a gift certificate
  • Two free places for a day seminar of your choice.

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Wohllebens Waldakademie

Lease document

From 5 square meters of lease you will receive a certificate of your protected area by mail. The certificate is printed on 100% recycled paper.

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Situation in Wershofen

Wurzeln einer Buche im Urwaldprojekt - Wohllebens Waldakademie
Old beech forest in Wershofen: Consistently protected.

The commune of Wershofen owns around 400 hectares of forest, which has been consistently managed ecologically since 2006. The non-indigenous coniferous trees are pushed back in favour of deciduous trees, chemicals and above all full harvesting machines are avoided. The aim is to rebuild old deciduous forests that can take over the functions of the primeval forests again.

A special feature are old beech forests, where no wood has been used for many years. The trees, which are now between 160 and 200 years old, are consistently protected. Dead trees remain in the forest.

However, the financial pressure to use the timber is growing. Therefore, the local council has decided to secure the areas elsewhere. On the one hand, the aim is to compensate for the lost timber revenues, and on the other hand to save the old trees permanently.

The renunciation of use is secured through lease agreements with the Waldakademie.

The overall operational strategy is regularly reviewed by independent experts via a permanent control sample. This is accompanied by investigations within the scope of diploma theses at the RWTH Aachen University.

In the meantime, an increase in the occurrence of rare species can be observed: For example, black woodpecker, middle spotted woodpecker and black stork can be found in the community forests. Even the extremely shy wildcat is observed here several times a year. The forest inventories also speak a clear language: the living biomass, mainly bound in the wood of the trees, has now reached twice the value of managed forests and thus returned to the level of primeval forests.

FAQ

Why beech forest?

By nature, Germany would be over 90 percent covered by forest, the majority of which would be beech or beech/oak mixed forests. Beech forests from the age of 180 today only account for 0.16 percent of the land area.  And even these small remaining areas are still managed, so that as a rule only a third of the trees remain in these old-growth forests. Particularly old, uncultivated beech forests are important partners in the fight against climate change. These forests also react less sensitively to the changes caused by climate change.

Does the primeval forest project make a contribution to climate protection?

Yes, the Buchen-UrwaldProjekt makes an important contribution to climate protection. Old forests store large amounts of carbon in the soil in the long term. In managed forests, this carbon is released back into the atmosphere. (Luyssaert et al., 2008) Furthermore, such old forests massively cool their surroundings by evaporation of water. (Ibisch et al., 2018)

Is there a lease register?

Is there a leaseholder register? yes - we keep a leaseholder register in which each leaseholder is given a unique number, which in turn is assigned to an individually measured area. The leaseholder directory is stored securely in Germany.

Is the development of the protected area observed?

Yes - We have been carrying out regular inventories in the protected area since 2018. In addition, further university research projects are carried out in the primeval forest project.

Wie wird der Schutz über 50 Jahre gesichert?

Mit einer Eintragung im Grundbuch durch einen Notar wird sichergestellt, dass die Projektflächen die nächsten 50 Jahre geschützt bleiben.

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