Seventeen young people from ten nations - Final presentation by the “Zülow carers”25.07.2013
With deftness, muscle power and enormous commitment, the young people cleared around 1100 metres of path by removing low-hanging branches and dense sprawling growth, planted more than 200 metres of natural hedges, gathered 15 sacks full of litter and junk from the edges of the forest, took steps to protect ant heaps, and redesigned the hilltop vantage point. At the same time, the old vineyard terraces were maintained for the benefit of numerous protected animal and plant species, and an area of around 1500 square metres was freed from woody plants, such as black cherry. The steps taken have considerably improved the conditions in which the national and international botanical peculiarities as well as the warmth-loving species of insects on the southern slopes can live and develop. Signs made by the young people call attention to these unusual species.
The Groß Machnow vineyard accommodates, among other things, the third oldest conservation area in the State of Brandenburg, having been established in 1936. Passing pine trees typical of the Mark Brandenburg region and a forest of gnarled oaks, the signposted path now leads vineyard visitors up to the top of the hill while avoiding the sensitive areas of the nature reserve but still allows visitors to experience these areas. The hilltop affords a view that extends far past the Baruth glacial valley.
The young people put in a total of 720 hours of work during three weeks of voluntary conservation activities. Besides the visible results of their efforts, it is the unforgettable experience of the outdoors and being close to nature that will remain with them in particular. Buzzards, cranes and white storks could be seen from the vineyard’s hilltop, woodpeckers could be heard in the forest and, while cycling on the way to work, sometimes the young people would pass deer and hares. There was plenty of time for fun and leisure activities too. Swimming in Kiessee lake at Rangsdorf, excursions to Berlin and Potsdam, and a visit to the future Berlin Brandenburg Airport were all on the agenda.
This meeting of young people from all over the world is organised in cooperation with the Verein Internationale Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste (IJGD) e.V. (Association for International Youth Community Projects) and is coordinated locally by the Landschaftspflegeverein Mittelbrandenburg e.V. (Central Brandenburg Association of Rural Conservation). Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH sponsors the International Work Camp, which is now in its ninth year. A total of 147 young persons from 32 countries have worked on protecting the natural landscape since the camp first started in 2005. Other long-standing partners are the municipality and tourist office of Rangsdorf, the Teltow-Fläming nature conservation authority and the Wünsdorf forestry office.
As part of its development of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, the airport company has made a long-term commitment to numerous compensatory and substitute measures within the scope of the statutory nature conservation compensation scheme. The biggest project is in the Zülow lowlands – some 2600 hectares of lowland and cultivated landscape between Mittenwalde, Dabendorf and Rangsdorf.