After consulting with Insect Respect the chocolate manufacturer's trainees have created a biotope with habitats for different animal and plant species as part of the project „RITTER SPORT helps!“.
With the project a „live square“, wet meadows, deadwood piles and wild shrub beds were created. Insect Respect and NABU supported the project day.
The apprentice project „RITTER SPORT helps!“ is an annual activity through which RITTER SPORT’s apprentices and student employees get involved to promote sustainability issue that resonate with the company’s vision. They are responsible for the whole project – from conception and planning to implementation. 2018 the adolescents decided on doing an ecological project. On a green area located on the company grounds they created a biotope with habitats for different animal and plant species. The action’s goal is to contribute to the protection of biodiversity and increase it on site.
In cooperation with Mr Markus Pagel (NABU District Gäu- Northern Black Forest) and Dr. Philipp Unterweger (Insect Respect) the RITTER SPORT team optimised the areas for various animal and plant species. The project areas foster understanding for insects and for ecological interrelations. The creation of habitats for insects is an active contribution against insect decline. RITTER SPORT aims at enabling a holistic nature and environment experience by establishing different habitats, improving ecological area cultivation and integrating an educational trail.
Focus: the live square
The project’s visual and ecological highlight is a „live square“. Therein the most diverse creatures find hiding places, among others various wild bee and insect species, mice, spiders and hedgehogs. The construction materials are tailored to the residents’ respectively the visitors’ needs.
For this the diligent apprentices used for example 12,000 nesting tubules and 68 pallets and drilled 400 wholes in hardwood blocks. Furthermore, the „live square“ consists of bricks, bamboo tubules, straw and cones. Predominantly, the creatures use it as sleeping place, some species stay in the habitat for up to two years. It protects them from predators and the weather. Especially the nesting tubules and the wholes in the hardwood blocks provide space for solitarily living wild bee species. Those are innocuous for people as their sting cannot penetrate the human skin.
Not only suitable nesting opportunities are crucial but also an extensive food supply. Different botanical and geological measure have enhanced the areas. The pre-existent wet meadow receive a mowing schedule which guarantees a long-lasting and sustainable development of the area. The apprentices planted shrubs on are itself and on its boarders. Additionally, domestic bushes with many blossoms and berries were chosen.
Shrubs for recurring blossoms
The green area was enriched by low tree species and 20 wild shrub species in different variants which are supposed to spread over the area. The area will only be mown once a year. A shrub is a flowering plant which dies back superficially after the vegetation period and blossoms again in the following year from the same root. As an extensive vegetation needs a great amount of diverse plants, for example several individuals of Butomus umbellatus, Iris pseudacorus and Succisa pratensis were put into the wet meadow. Those plants increase the food supply on the wet meadow and contribute to a great variety of species on the „live square“.
Wet meadows: rare but species-rich
The special attribute of wet meadows is the very high and partly over the year highly fluctuating ground-water table. It is flooded at least once a year. Wet meadows house a variety of animal and plant species adapted to this habitat.
Deadwood: more alive than you think
Deadwood ranks among the most vibrant habitats. Through the dead tree trunks the habitat provides food, hiding places or building material for different animal. Many creatures who depend on deadwood can be found on the List of Threatend Species. Spiders, hedgehogs, mice and insects find a home in the habitat Deadwood.
Nesting aids and hibernation possibilities
To support the wildlife the RITTER SPORT apprentices installed nesting aids for birds (tits, starlings and owls) as well as for bats and wild bees. A deadwood pile with different kinds of wood offers habitat for very different kinds of animals.
A border structure ensures a habitat in every season: One part of the green area is marked as a hibernation space. Here, insects can hibernate in stalks, flower head, tussocks and leaves.
Informations boards for the different elements have been created.
This piece of information is available for download in German. [Download pdf in German]
Furthermore, Ritter Sport's apprentices created a flyer about the project.
Herrmann Kräuter creates 9,000 qm especially for insects
Together with Insect Respect Kräuter Herrmann fights against insect decline. On five areas with a total of about 9,000 m² insect-friendly habitats were created.
The family business Herrmann Kräuter in Neuss supplies its customers with fresh herbs in pots, in bunches or pre-packaged to enrich all kinds of dishes. As soon as the family Herrmann heard of Insect Respect there were enthusiastic. The sign for a new behaviour towards insects fosters societal awareness for the animals' value and decline and creates biotopes for our helpers with six legs. It was clear at once that habitats will be developed on the company grounds on a large scale.
Everybody can show "Insect Respect"!
INSECT RESPECT® fördert Produkte und Projekte, die für Bewusstsein sorgen und schafft Flächen speziell für Insekten. Interessierte finden hier zahlreiche Informationen über die Tiere: z.B. über 100 Insektenbestimmungsblätter, ein Glossar zu Insektenbekämpfung und ökologischen Alternativen, das Buch „Warum jede Fliege zählt“, einen Animationsfilm über die „Kleinen Riesen“ und eine kostenfreie Übersicht „Maßnahmen, um Insekten zu fördern“.
Werden auch Sie aktiv!
Machen Sie Ihre Brachflächen zu Blühflächen – Insect Respect unterstützt Sie dabei.
15 ÖKOPROFIT-Klub OWL (Ostwestfalen-Lippe) companies (est. 2004) now use their long-standing cooperation for the protection of our domestic insects.
The ÖKOPROFIT-Klub currently consists of 27 companies and institutions from Bielefeld, Gütersloh, Herford, Paderborn and the surrounding communities. In May 2018 the ÖKOPROFIT-Klub invited the entrepreneur and insect friend from Bielefeld, Dr. Hans-Dietrich Reckhaus for a presentation to get informed first-hand about insect decline. Hans-Dietrich Reckhaus who himself produces insecticides acknowledges the responsibility for creating and maintaining compensation areas for insects.
Creating habitats for six-leggers
Only if insects have enough habitats they can perform the important functions and services for humanity, states Dr. Reckhaus. This includes for example the pollination of plants, the decomposition of excrements as well as being a food source for birds and other animals. The dramatic insect decline by more than 75 % during the last three decades, now, brings the ÖKOPROFIT companies from OWL to the scene. They want to support Dr. Reckhaus’ protection efforts and provide over 60,000 sqm of company-owned areas. Those areas are examined with the aid of the company Reckhaus and changed into new insect habitats. The measures include certain mowing dates, the installation of deadwood and stone piles, reseeding of insect-friendly plants if necessary and of course refraining from using poison in these areas.
Leaving nature alone
That way lifeless factory areas will be transformed into new insect habitats in a short period of time. „We only have to leave nature alone, then suitable habitats for insects such as butterflies will develop naturally. We can only support this process“, said Dr. Philipp Unterweger, leading biologist at Reckhaus AG who visited all companies involved and inspected the areas. Afterwards the companies receive instruction how to tend these areas from now on.
Refuge for insects
One of the first companies visited was B.A.U.M. Consult in Hamm. Here, the company of Elmar Stevens, co-initiator and supervisor of ÖKOPROFIT-Klub OWL provided 1,500 sqm. Now, deadwood sections, stone piles, an insect hotel and a bumblebee box will be installed in the area. From now on, once or twice a year the habitat will be mown, sparing certain sections and thereby leaving refuges important for the insects. Dr. Unterweger points out the importance of removing the mown grass from the areas.
The following ÖKOPROFIT-Klub OWL companies provide areas for habitat:
- B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH Hamm: 1,500 sqm
- ÖKO- Zentrum NRW Hamm: 6,200 sqm
- Upmann GmbH Rietberg: 1,500 sqm
- DCP Digitaldruck und Profiltechnik GmbH Gütersloh: 3,500 sqm
- Goldbeck Bauelemente GmbH Bielefeld: 10,000 sqm
- Wöhler Technik GmbH Bad Wünnenberg: 500 sqm
- Heggemann AG Büren: 700 sqm
- Eisengießerei Baumgarte GmbH Bielefeld: 26,000 sqm
- Halfar System GmbH Bielefeld: 2,500 sqm
- Maas Naturwaren GmbH Gütersloh: 2,500 sqm
- Noweda Arzneimittel AG Herford: 2,500 sqm
- Ritex GmbH Bielefeld: 1,200 sqm
- A. Pflüger GmbH & Co. KG, Rheda-Wiedenbrück: 2,700 sqm
- Kreis Paderborn: 1,200 sqm
- Sonepar Deutschland, Region West GmbH Paderborn: 100 sqm
These actions of the ÖKOPROFIT-Klub OWL are thought to encourage imitation by others: Every company, every firm and every private gardener are called to cultivate their areas insect-friendly to ensure a buzzing future! One of the lighthouse initiatives that came into life together with Insect Respect is Armin Halfar’s, CEO of Halfar Systems GmbH in Bielefeld. He and a few others founded the round table for biodiversity in Bielefeld from which now the initiative „Insect aid“ emerged. It is meant to support insect-friendly companies in Bielefeld.