Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Nature in Trouble - our History Disappears
The law about edges
In Frederikshavn the local authority has warned the site owners that they will keep an eye on them if they cultivate the land too close to the edge of the water streams and that there will be consequences if they do.Too much earth, sand and fertilizers end in the water if the law about edges are not kept. 80 km water stream has been controlled in Frederikshavn municipiality, and at 26 site owners was pointed out an exceeding of the demand that there has to be 2 m cultivate-free edges along the water streams.
Nature Protection law §3.
Large sections of the small nature areas in the landscape disappears, although many places are protected by the Nature Protection-law §3. Many nature-protected water holes, meadows and pastures have been covered or ploughed up and made into farm land. It is illegal to destroy nature protected areas. The farmers can be punished with a fine or at worst prison for a year. However the municipalities acknowledge that supervision is insufficient. When the small biotopes in the farm land disappear it can spoil the living conditions for both birds, animals and plants in the Danish nature.
Too late for the nature-protected land
An actual case from Ringkøbing-Skjern shows that it can be without liability to punishment to destroy protected nature areas. 21 hectare §3-protected heath and pastures were ploughed up by a farmer. The offence was so crude that the environment and technical administration of the municipality recommended the politicians to report the site owner to the police and confiscate his profit. The politicians refused this, they remained a passive spectator and settled for that the site owner had just to re-establish the area. They claimed that they had now given a signal that it is not acceptable to cultivate nature-protected land. The farmer had expenses cultivating the field, they said, and now again because he was forced to stop. But it is not as simple as that. When a farmer destroys a nature area it is not an acceptabel solution that he's just asked to re-establish, which is impossible to do. It just means that he cannot cultivate it any more. He has already destroyed the place. It takes up till 50-100 year before the natural contents are back.
Crucial for the Flora and Fauna
A farmer had destroyed an erosion-valley from Ice Age and had picked out 3 other areas with pasture, before the local authority stopped the destruction. It was confirmed that the pastures had never been under plough. The areas cover the Nature Protection law §3, which is crucial for the protection of flora and fauna in the open land and thereby the protection of the biodiversity.
Our history disappears
The dikes disappear. The site owners remove the dikes, which is illegal. The Museum Law says that it is not allowed to change the situation of the dikes, to remove or make passage without a special dispensation. 44 dikes in Horsens area have disappeared. Dikes are historic leading lines in the landscape and visible signs of a part of Danish history, which goes back to Iron Age. The dikes are also important for our nature and animal life and a connecting link between nature areas. Therefore it is very important to keep them, says the Kulturarvsstyrelse. (Cultural heritage). Areas with meadows, heaths and pastures are retreating in Denmark and in the North. Cultivation, forestation and overgrowth have since the end of the 1800s halved the area. This development has meant that Denmark has lost some of its most species-rich nature types - the socalled light- open nature types and cultural biotopes.
West of Frederikshavn is an area with several hills from Bronze age and Stone age, but not quite as many now since a farmer according to Kulturarvsstyrelsen has destroyed many of the thousand years old prehistorics in the area. So not only nature disappears but also grave hills and Denmark's history. A bulldozer can in a few hours destroy what has been here for thousands of years.
Cultivation of set-aside fields removes habitats
Recently the farmers were allowed to cultivate their set-aside fields with a saddening result for the nature. A set-aside field with a rich flora is important to the pollinating insects and butterflies. It is crucial to the insects if the distance between the flora-fields is too long. They cannot survive loosing their habitats. This year I have noticed two set-aside fields in Mid Jutland with a beautiful view over a magnificent landscape and with lots of bumble-bees and butterflies, which have now been planted with fir. The bumble-bees and the butterflies are gone, and in a few years the beautiful view has gone too.
photo Jutland 2007-2008: grethe bachmann