We often share our own habitats in cities, towns and villages with wild animals, also known as synanthropes. For example, towers may serve as “replacement cliffs” for kestrels and swifts, and residential buildings can provide bats with an alternative to caves. Flowering meadows, small gardens, and parks can provide sustenance for butterflies and wild bees.
The biodiversity of our towns and municipalities is decreasing as a result of the energetic renovation of our buildings and an overzealous adherence to order and tidiness: among other things, nooks and crannies are sealed up, old trees are felled even when there is no danger of them falling, and lawns are mown short.
We are working to counteract these problems in many different small ways – for example by attaching nesting aids for kestrels and songbirds, installing bat shelters in towers and storerooms, and placing insect hotels for wild bees near flowering meadows.
Our work also includes educating municipalities to convince them to mow later in the year, after the green spaces in settled areas and parks have finished blooming. An example of this is the late mowing of the fields in Schlosspark Schlettau, which results in flowering spring meadows with spring snowflakes, scilla and crocuses. A joint project with the Zschopautal/Flöhatal Landscape Conservation Association is currently being planned to increase natural diversity in the residential green spaces of Olbernhau.