Field trip 20.9

The bus will depart at 8.00am and returns back to Bonn at 15.15. Bus will stop at Köln-Bonn Airport at 14.30. 

Regional forestry department Rhein-Sieg-Erft – Forestry in a metropolitan area

The regional forestry department Rhein-Sieg-Erft is responsible for 60,000 hectares of forest, 24,000 hectares are state-owned. The forests are located in the metropolitan area of Cologne-Bonn and serve as a recreational area for nearly 2.4 million people. The demands on the forest are diverse: it not only serves as a recreational area, but also produces timber and provides various nature conservation- and ecosystem services. The management of state forests is generally carried out in a way that simultaneously fulfills all functions of this multifunctional forestry. This leads to a tension field of different user interests.

The consequences of climate change have a negative impact on the local forests and make sustainable forest management more difficult. For example, the outbreak of bark beetle infestation following long dry periods since 2018 has led to the death of almost all spruce stands in the state forest. Out of the 24,000 hectares, 5,000 hectares of forest have died in the last 6 years and are currently undergoing reforestation. This excursion aims to provide insight into the challenges of sustainable and multifunctional forestry in urban areas under the influence of climate change.

During the field trip the participants will be divided into groups of 15 - 20 person. Each group will be escorted (scouts escort the groups during the whole excursion) to one of the stations. After finishing the first station, each group will move clockwise to the next station. For each station a time of 30 min. is planned, walkingtime for the trail will take 60 min (distance approximatly 2,5 kilometers).

Station 1: Wilderness development area

The conservation of Nature is integrated in the forest management. About 70 % oft he state forests are part of nature conservation areas. The Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW has developt its own strategy for coarse woody debris „Xylobius“. While harvesting wood species protection is always taking into account. At station 1 an example for a wilderness development area is shown. About 100 of these development areas have been established in North Rhine-Westphalia over the last decades. The main aims in this areas are the preservation of deadwood and by this the emergence of habitat structures. Therefore no timber is harvested anymore and the areas can develop in natural conditions. The areas are mainly used for research of Forrest development without forestry.

Station 2: Reafforestation after calamity

Since 2018 the regional forestry department lost almost 25 % of its forests to the bark beetle clamety. The the mass reproduction of the bark beetle species Ips Typographus and Pityogenes chalcographus lead to the die back of almost all Spruce stands in the forestry department. Station 2 is located at one of these calamity site. The aftermath of windfall and bark beetle infestation can be seen here. The big challange after harvesting and transporting hundred thousands cubic meters of clamity wood is to reforest all calamity sides. Time for this is short, as rivalry vegetation is growing already. A additional task is to minimise the impact of browsing damag. In consequence of the huge calamity areas (135.000 ha in North Rhine-Westphalia) seedlings are rare which leeds to extensive aforestation systems. The system of reafforestation of Wald und Holz NRW will be demonstrated.

Station 3: Motor manual timber harvest and professional training

At this station forest workers will perform an exemplary tree felling and explain their typical equipment. Timber harvesting in nature conservatin and recreational areas needs to be conducted extremly sensitivly. Forestry is not always seen positivly in the public´s mind. Also the Necessary mashines will be shown and the logging trail infrastructure will be exemplified. As the Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW is FSC and PEFC certified, the logging trails have to have an distance of 40 meters between each other. As cranes of typical harvesters and forewarders have a range of 10 meters, the areas between the logging trail can´t be reached entirely.

Station 4: Close-to-nature forest management with natural regeneration

Station 5 gives an example of the thinning system conducted at the Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW to maintain close-to-nature forest management. Future crop trees are choosen and competing trees are cut frequently. By only using tree which reached the target diameter the harvesting extends over severel years and the natural regeneration develops uneven-aged. The initiation of natural regenarition in a beech stand will be demonstrated.

AC2024, field trip