Nesselröden Demonstration Site (Germany)The Nesselröden demonstration site is 500 ha in size and is situated 15 km east of the university town of Göttingen.
The area is dominated by agriculture and the most common crops are wheat, rape, small parcels of meadows and maize. One part of the project area is hilly and still has quite small fields, is well structured by margins, grassy paths and some shrubs. Several hectares of flower blocks and fallow land have been established 15 years ago. The second half of the area has larger fields and is less structured.
Thanks to the PARTRIDGE project, further conservation measures to improve habitat suitability have been introduced to the Nesselröden demonstration site. In 2020, 6% of the demonstration site is covered by conservation measures. Five farmers work hand in hand with conservationists to create a grey partridge-friendly landscape.
Our most important measure is the PARTRIDGE flower block. In the project, flower blocks always include one part which is sown in the recent year and one part with vegetation of the previous year. The special seed mixture is composed by annual and perennial plant species. The old growth of the previous year is perfect for breeding as it provides cover and hides the nest from the eyes of predators. In July, grey partridges lead their chicks into the freshly sown part where they can find easily accessible food. These two parts are interchanged every year to create a dynamic and diverse habitat. As of 2020, 18 fields are sown with the PARTRIDGE flower mix in this fashion, covering 21 ha at Nesselröden. Other measures like grey partridge-friendly mowing regimes of meadows and grass strips help to create a structurally diverse landscape around the village of Nesselröden, which benefits not only grey partridges but other endangered farmland species as well.
In 2004, the department of Conservation Biology at the University of Göttingen and the NGO ‘Biologische Schutzgemeinschaft e.V.’ started a large-scale partridge conservation project across the whole district of Göttingen (about 1.000 km²), by optimizing the agri-environment scheme measure of flower strips for partridges.
The project demonstration site was part of this study and since 2006, partridge counts have been carried out and radio-tagging of the birds was started in 2009. To improve the quality of the habitat, partridge-friendly flower strips were introduced in 2005.
For further details, please contact:
Dr. Eckhard Gottschalk (Georg-August-University of Göttingen)
Phone: +49 551 395637
Useful link: www.rebhuhnschutzprojekt.de