Bad Soden (dpa/lhe) - The state of Hesse wants to increasingly promote the preservation of meadow orchards. Among other things, a state-wide orchard center will be set up in the Main-Taunus district, which will be a contact and advice center for municipalities, clubs, associations and private individuals, as the Hessian Ministry of the Environment announced on Wednesday.
"More than 5,000 animal and plant species live on a meadow orchard, which is one of the most species-rich habitats in Hesse," said Environment Minister Priska Hinz (Greens). "With the meadow orchard strategy, we protect biodiversity and thus also our lives and our future." Orchards traditionally characterize the landscape in many parts of the country.
According to the ministry, many orchards have been cleared for arable use or construction projects in recent decades as their economic importance has declined. The preservation, maintenance and further development should now be supported more strongly.
Hinz presented the Main-Taunus district with a grant of 478,000 euros for the construction of the orchard center. In addition, the state provides another million euros per year for the protection of meadow orchards.
The Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) Hessen welcomed the state's strategy to promote meadow orchards. "Hesse has a special obligation to preserve and recreate this cultural landscape, which is so typical of many Hessian regions and is highly endangered," said state chairman Gerhard Eppler.