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  • Writer's pictureRoot & Branch

In the service of wildlife conservation

About a year ago, we received the approval to establish a large-scale wild hedge and a natural pond for the protection of the Midwife Toad in cooperation with the Swiss nature conservation organization Pro Natura and the Office for Forests and Natural Hazards of the Canton of Bern. Our GreenTEAM will be responsible for the seasonal maintenance measures.

In March, we were able to complete the work on the site in Schüpbach. The Emmental, where the Midwife Toad was native, has experienced significant population declines in recent decades. The aim of Pro Natura's support project was to support the population and halt the decline by creating new habitats and enhancing existing ones.

The newly created 50 square meter pond is located on a sunny forest edge on a slope - which made the work more difficult. Another difficulty was the structural adjustments that had to be made so that the rivulet from the incoming forest ditch would feed the pond with water but not flood it in rainy periods. Challenges that we would not have been able to meet without the valuable know-how of Martin Rindisbacher.

To create an ideal habitat for the midwife toad, the site needed to be better lit. The logs we sawed from the forest were placed across the forest ditch as dams to regulate the water in the pond.

The hedge is located above the pond and covers about 600 square meters. According to Pro Natura's planting plan, it consists exclusively of regional small trees and shrubs. Here, too, the inaccessibility of the terrain made the work difficult: Our GreenTEAM and the Pro Natura staff needed a whole day to plant and fence in the plants. However, the efforts were worth it: the wild hedge is thriving and will be able to provide habitat, nesting sites and hiding places for all kinds of animals in the future. It will certainly take a little more time until the endangered toad discovers the new pond landscape for itself - we are pretty excited!

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