Removal of vegetation layer and duff overlay, partly including a small top layer of mineral soil.
"Plaggen" helps to regenerate heathland areas that are overgrown with high gras, hair-grass or moor-grass.
"Plaggen" costs between 4.000 and 7.000,- € per hectar
Removal of vegetation layer and the largest part of the duff overlay. Heath plants often sprout directly from the lasting rootstock and bloom yet in the same year of cultivation.
For heathland areas which have a moderate to strong duff overlay ( up to 4 cm) and less than 30% of high grass. Today's machines are able to skim heathland with a lot of high grass. Often the area has to be machined twice to get the best result.
"Schoppern" costs tween 1.500,- € and 2.500 € per hectar.
Removal of moss and parts of duff with whereabouts of rootstocks of heather by racking and thatching.
On a grand scale it is done since 2014.
Demossing is the method with the lowest costs in terms of the reached nutritient output. The machine just can work best on areas with low grass. Generally, areas which were cut will be demossed afterwards.
Demossing costs between 700,- € and 1000 € per hectar.
Mowing the heather to less than 3 cm high stopples with maximized removal of the swathe.
Already for years areas with only few grass cover are mowed. Every 5 to 7 years the heathland has to be mowed if it is not kept short by the grazing sheep. We know from our record that farmers used to mow their lands once in 20 years.
Mowing is the only method of preservation which is self-financing when it is done on areas with low grass. Prices for bales of heather are based on daily changing market conditions.
Areal burning of heather vegetation and parts of duff overlay.
Heathland just with a small amount of grass and a thin duff overlay will usually be regenerated by the use of open fire. Interestingly, burning the heath was a wide spread practice in the past, but the desired effects never really emerged. If dry weather permits, also strong moss layers can be burned. The age of the heather is not relevant for this method. Often burning is used to get rid of the sharp cutting edges resulting from the mechanical processing.
Generally the burning areas are around 1 hectar in extent.
Burning costs around 400,- € per hectar.
Grazing with all year round herd keeping is the traditional type of usage of the heathlands. The animals (today just Heidschnucken sheep) graze on the heathland during the days and are kept in a sheep pen overnight. Only during the lambing season the herds are not outside everyday. This traditional way of keeping the herds are so to say a transfer of nutritients from heather to the stable (and further on to the agricultural crop ground).
Grazing in paddock keeping with movable fencing is an exception for grassland and crop land within the Nature Reserve.
Permanent pastures were established in some heathland and grassland areas for cattle and horeses in addition to the herd keeping of the Heidschnucken sheep. These spacious areas are used throughout the whole year. The forested areas within these pastures give shelter to the robust animals (Dülmener horses /Wilseder Rote cattle) during harsh conditions.
The method of preservation is the most important on all heathland areas of the Nature Reserve. It is indispensible where the terrain has steep slopes, is stony or has plough marks, is covered by thick cedar heathlands or is a transition zone between the open and wooded areas.