Restoration of the `Schöffelsteinwiese`

Successful restoration of an almost overgrown Wienerwald meadow

The preservation of the forest meadows is of great ecological and cultural importance. Therefore, the Purkersdorf nature park preserves and promotes such special meadows.

How to turn an overgrown area into a species-rich meadow?

On the Schöffelstein - the highest elevation of the nature park proper - there was a small clearing that was since more than 30 years no longer maintained as a meadow and was therefore increasingly overgrown with bushes & shrubs. Starting in 2017, the nature park began to slowly restore this area into a species-rich meadow in several steps. 

We cleared the emerging shrubs & bushes and removed excess nutrients from the soil by spreading and harvesting a regional seed mix for wet meadows with oats as a cover crop. After another year, the mown material from the Feihlerhöhe orchard meadow was transferred to the remote new clearing so that a natural regional plant mixture could develop. In the summer of 2019, the new meadow bloomed for the first time with many wildflowers. 

Beehives from our nature park beekeeper have been set up at the edge of the meadow so that the bees can ensure that the flowers continue to spread.

An additional habitat for more biodiversity

In the next few years, biodiversity will be increased through additional sowing of more wildflowers. Furthermore, an additional habitat and nesting opportunities will be created for species that benefit from the meadow (e.g., insects, wild bees, bats, snakes...).

Raising awareness for nature changes

In addition to the care of the habitat and the promotion of the existing fauna, communication with the local population and schools from Purkersdorf, as well as with nature park visitors plays an important role. There are several information boards at the meadow, describing and documenting the changes in the area and presenting important plant and animal species in more detail.

Seen in this way, nature conservation in this project is after all - as we say in Viennese German - "a gmahde Wiesn".

This project was carried out within the framework of the EU Rural Development programme 2014-2020" funding from the EU, the province of Lower Austria and the municipality of Purkersdorf.