November of 2011 was the driest November on record. There was practically no precipitation at all. "The long drought was very convenient for us", states Dr. Markus Richter, project manager of AMPHIKULT, reviewing the last few weeks. Wet conditions are the major impediment to the project’s excavation operations. This is true especially this year as numerous water bodies were created on bog soil. "Had it rained more, several ponds would not have been completed, since the excavators would have sunk into the rain-sodden bog soil." Owing to the drought, all approved water bodies could be completed - a total of 49 ponds in the areas of Diepholzer Moor Lowlands, Hunte Valley, Duemmer, and Marler Fladder. Counting the 30 water bodies of last year, 79 water bodies have now been completed altogether. By the end of the project, 190 water bodies ranging from 500 to 5.000m² in size are to be created in addition to approximately 100 small ponds ranging from 5 to 50m².
Pond in the Hunte Valley near Goldenstedt - before and after restoration
In addition to the newly created water bodies, several existing water bodies were restored this autumn. To this end, shading woody plants were cut back and sediment was removed from the water bodies so as to turn them into suitable spawning grounds for amphibians. Some water bodies were deepened as the lack of a sufficient water depth had led to a drying out of the tadpoles before their metamorphosis. However, the water level of the water bodies also depends on the amount of precipitation. Now all involved parties will hope for plenty of rain so that next spring the frogs chance upon well-filled water bodies.