They are often just small strips along the way - but with less care they become hiking trails and food sources for insects. Examples from Franconia.
Bamberg/Hof (dpa/lby) - The roadside as an insect paradise: Because the roadsides in Bamberg have been mowed less frequently for years, this attracts numerous insects. And there are also significantly more diverse plants growing: 472 plant species were counted in 2021, in 1999 there were 320, as a spokeswoman for the city announced. Similar measures are now in place in other municipalities.
The government of Upper Franconia has also been on board since 2019. Roadside maintenance should also be optimized with regard to insects. The city of Bamberg has been focusing on the topic of ecological roadside maintenance for more than 20 years and "was really a leader here," said Gerhard Bergner from the higher nature conservation authority of the government of Upper Franconia. In the meantime, the government has also published a guide to ecological roadside maintenance.
"The more often mowed, the worse it is for the insects," Bergner continued. It is much better for biodiversity to mow only once or twice a year at most instead of four to five times. However, this does not mean less effort for the municipalities at the same time. It should not be mulched because the plant residues remain when mulching.
If traffic safety permits, roadsides could sometimes not be mowed at all or in stages. Traffic safety always comes first.
Special plantings on the roadside are not necessary, Bergner said. He often advises "just let it grow" instead of buying and sowing seed mixes.
Other municipalities would now also contact the city of Bamberg: "Yes, there is interest and inquiries from other cities and districts that are planning something similar," said the spokeswoman.
According to the government of Upper Franconia, flowering roadsides function like hiking trails for insects, which they walk or fly along. In this way, the biotopes can be networked with one another. In addition, insects could use the pollen and nectar of the plants growing there.
The city of Hof announced in autumn that it would change the way it tends to its green spaces: mowing will be done less often so that plants can bloom there. In addition, fallow strips are deliberately left as a source of food and retreat for insects and small animals. According to the information, areas with stinging nettles, which are important forage plants for birds, remain, especially in the Theresienstein Bürgerpark.
In Würzburg, the city is currently looking for sponsors for the tree discs, which are the open ground area around the tree trunk. In order to improve the health of the trees and ensure more plant diversity, people should take special care of this area: The tasks of the sponsors include the planting and regular care of the tree disc, the city said. Watering the trees is also important, especially during hot periods. In this way, the citizens would not only make a contribution to protecting the tree population, but also to biodiversity.