For a long time mat grass meadows formed the landscape of the Eifel:
Rich in species meadows of mat grass, also called arnica lawns (Nardus grasslands).
Originally arisen on nutrient-poor, acid, dry to humid locations as a result of extensive agricultural use, nowadays these habitats are extremely rare.
Changes of agriculture have contributed to this. Areas are not used any more and are left fallow or are fertilized and used more intensively. Many of the areas have been reafforested – most of them with conifers.
Within the European network of nature reserves called NATURA2000 the remaining meadows of mat grass are secured for a permanent conservation of the biological variety.
In “Kreis Euskirchen” the LIFE+ project “alliance for mat grass meadows” is developing arnica lawns but also dry and humid heathland combined with ecologically valuable woods and shrubberies on an area of 90 ha until 2016.
Particular species like the purple-edged copper, the whinchat or the arnica will repopulate these habitats.
For that purpose the “Biologische Station im Kreis Euskirchen e.V.”, the “Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen”, the “Kreis Euskirchen”, various associations and institutions, three communes and citizens joined the “alliance for mat grass meadows”.
Nature, landscape and humankind will profit.