Anyone who has been out and about in the state forest of the lower marrow in recent weeks and months has had the chance to meet the reigning bavarian forest queen. Her name is johanna gierl, she is just 24 years old, comes from prackenbach (district of regen in the bavarian forest) and is currently completing her traineeship for the higher forestry service at the bavarian state forestry service. Her goal: to become a forest ranger. During her five-month trainee period in the oesdorf forest district with forester erich daum, which is now coming to an end, she carried out a renaturation project as part of her training and thus ensured that she left a lasting "footprint" left in the state forest. At the end of 2018, the management contracts for five ponds in the middle of the state forest, which had previously been used for fishing, expired. The contracts were not renewed. On the initiative of johanna gierl, these ponds are being restored to their natural state. "The target state of the previously managed ponds can be exemplarily seen at the black pond in the forchheim area of the state forest", explains forester erich daum. This pond was also used for fishing in the past. An old monch, i.E. A small structure for draining the water, still bears witness to its original use today. Over the years, a small paradise for flora and fauna has been created, even the great crested newt has settled here. "The great crested newt is the most important protected species in the FFH area of the lower marrow and an indicator species for near-natural quality. Where the great crested newt is, everything else is too", brings the importance of this water dweller to the point.
For the renaturation project of johanna gierl at the hohe-wurzel-pond, the kastenschlag-pond and the binsenschlag-pond (all three in the district of hallerndorf) as well as the two lampertdicken-ponds in the district of hausen it needed demand commitments of the office for food, agriculture and forestry. "My first rough calculation for the necessary measures such as de-silting, dredging and thinning by wood removal at the five ponds amounted to approximately 13.000 euros", gierl explains the relatively low financial outlay. The approval of the office has already been given, the work can probably start this year. The main work in the last few weeks was a survey of the flora and fauna in and around the forest ponds, which have a total area of about 5000 square meters. "If all the work goes according to plan, the first successes can be seen in two to three years," says, the young future forester ventures a prognosis. In the long term, the biotopes are to become a habitat for many animal and plant species such as the pond mussel, crustaceans, bats, water birds and dragonflies – and of course for the great crested newt.
Information boards will be placed at the newly created habitats, which will also contain rules of conduct. "They should be accessible for all and be quite experiencable", explains forester erich daum. Like the "witches’ broom in the old field forest in the state forest near hallerndorf, where an "experience stepping stone" has just been built which will soon be available on the bayerische staatsforsten website with the exact coordinates. There is an ancient protected oak stand to admire, which has long since been taken out of timber management. Mighty 250 to 300 year-old trees tower up to the sky here, but some have also fallen and hollowed out. A paradise for many species.