05.11.2012

 

FAIR employees planted the first 500 trees today

20,000 trees for FAIR particle accelerator site


FAIR employees planting 500 field maple and wild cherry trees (Photo: Gaby Otto for FAIR)

To compensate for the clearing of woodland for the new FAIR particle accelerator in Darmstadt, 20.2 hectares of land will be reforested in total. This is slightly larger than the space that will be cleared. FAIR has asked HESSEN-FORST to plant 20,000 trees in Darmstadt-Arheilgen and Ober-Ramstadt this autumn. Today, around 40 FAIR employees planted the first 500 trees in Arheilgen. At the same time, forestry workers have started to clear woodland at the future FAIR site near the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research to prepare the ground for the accelerator ring, which will have a circumference of 1.1 kilometres.

 

 

“We want to send out a clear signal with this tree planting campaign. It is inevitable that we will have to clear forest to build what is by far Germany’s largest research undertaking, but we plan to redevelop an area that more than matches that cleared. This is something we feel strongly about, and that is why we are taking such a hands-on approach,” explains FAIR Scientific Director Professor Boris Sharkov. The Täubcheshöhle forest strip at Langener Strasse / Virchowstrasse will be planted with a mixture of German oak, hornbeam and small-leaved lime trees over 2.25 hectares. Wild cherry trees, field maples, wild service trees and bushes like sloe and guilder rose will later provide a graduated woodland edge. In the district of Wembach near Ober-Ramstadt, mainly beech trees – in keeping with the local vegetation – will be planted alongside wild cherry, sycamore and wild service trees.

 

Professor Günther Rosner, Research and Administrative Managing Director of FAIR, commented: “Reforestation efforts will be accompanied by a comprehensive woodland environmental programme. For example, we have a programme to conserve the Stahlberge natural monument in Arheilgen and another to protect native amphibians and reptiles.” To this end, FAIR has erected a 1.6-kilometre protective amphibian fence along the construction site’s roads. A habitat for sand lizards has also been created on the former site of a small garden allotment.

 

Last winter, a large part of the construction site – around 16 hectares – was made ready. This leaves around 4 hectares to be cleared this autumn. This will create a ring-shaped clearing to the north of the building site, in which the underground 1.1-kilometre tunnel for the accelerator ring will be built. When the work is completed, trees will be replanted in the clearing. In all, more than eight hectares of land in the clearing will be reforested once FAIR has been built, with a further five and a half hectares of trees to be planted on construction site infrastructure areas and temporary earth stockpiling sites.

 

The first trees were actually planted long before clearance for the FAIR project began: In 2007, just under 1.6 hectares of new forest was planted in Knoblochsaue near Riedstadt, and the saplings are currently thriving.

 

More information:

Reforestation and new development

Environmental programmes to compensate for loss of habitat

 




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