Cotton grass at Freesendorf grassland

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Dryness and its consequences

An advantage for waders is irrigation by water pump in Mönkebude

The recent dryness in Western Pomerania brings a great risk for the meadow birds in the polder areas. Sociable Lapwing, Common Godwit and other waders need humid, pokeable soil for nutrition mostly in spring saison to nurse their chicks. If soil surface is drying to fast, chicks are missing water and insects.

At the moment the fen soil is still humid enough. But shown by the ground water measurements the ground water level is sinking daily by 1-2 cm. So breeding until June is very precarious.

To help the meadow birds, we try to prevent a fast water level sinking and irrigate some parts of the polders at the surface. Additionally we develop strategies for prolonging the higher ground water levels until summer month.

Not only for the waders low water level is unfavourable: The polders consist of fen moores with turf tickness up to 5 meteres. By desiccation the turf is decomposing (by oxidisation) and surface sags up to 1 cm per year. It provokes sinking ground surface, high carbon dioxide emissions and high costs for pumping stations.

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