A hydraulically-operated cutting unit ("Woodcracker") is removing woody plants from the water’s edge...the water body after completed restoration work (Photograph: J. Wimmer, NABU)
In time for the onset of the amphibian season, four water bodies at the gravel pit near Isingerode in the Oker Valley were restored by LIFE AMPHIKULT to benefit the European green toad.
Another cleared pond (Fotograph: J. Wimmer, NABU)
After gravel mining at this quarry ceased at the end of the 1980s, the former operator created the four ponds within the scope of various land restoration measures. By way of continuing succession, birches, willows, and aspen trees had conquered the shores after a quarter of a century, leading to increasing nutrient enrichment at the bottom of the water bodies that was caused by an accumulation of fallen leaves. Largely shaded, the pools had become increasingly unsuitable for amphibian reproduction.
As an objective of the AMPHIKULT measures, 350 woody plants in the immediate vicinity of the water bodies were removed to warrant increased sunlight on the shores and thus also to enhance the quality of the summer habitat of the European green toad. Subsequently, the ponds and pools were excavated to allow for the shores to be newly moulded.The crested newt and Common spadefoot, among others, will benefit from these measures as well.
Operations were supported by the local NABU association, which felled additional trees in the gravel pit area and assisted the building operations.