Sunny walk in the Aanschotse Beemden on May 6
Frank Verhagen – manager of natural areas of the Municipality of Eindhoven – knows everything about the mowing policy and maintenance of forests and trees in our Aanschotse Beemden. A group of 11 interested local residents was shown around and updated by him. He said that part of the Aanschotse Beemden is an ancient landscape. This is confirmed by the fact that Solomon’s seal (native herb species) grows there. This ancient forest used to be known for its coppice. Hakhout is a kind of ‘shrub forest’ that has been ideal over the centuries to mainly produce firewood. Coppice is created by vegetative reproduction. If a young forest is chopped off and the stumps sprout again, a coppice or ‘shrub forest’ is created. Instead of a single tree, a group of trees on one foot is created. Those multi-trunk trees are then chopped off every few years, after which the foot sprouts again. If you want to know more about the origin of this area from then until now, take a look at the website www.topotijdreis.nl.
Frank also talked about the mowing policy of the meadow areas. It has been investigated by ecologists that it should be mowed twice a year to maintain the biodiversity of the area. During mowing, parts remain undisturbed for insects and birds. These parts are then included in the next mowing.
It is striking that fallen trees are not cleared away. They leave these trees, they rot away by themselves and are now a shelter for insects and small animals. There are mainly woodpeckers, bats, birds and beetles. The pruned branches also remain (are neatly piled up like rills) and are automatically overgrown by shrubs. These shrubs provide excellent protection for songbirds in particular.
He also told about the blackthorns and hawthorns characteristic of this area, some of which are now beautifully full of white blossom. These are also very old and should certainly be preserved, because they belong in this area and provide food to bees early in the year and later also to the birds via its berries.
Frank spoke very enthusiastically about this beautiful area and is happy to explain another part of the Aanschotse Beemden. The working group certainly accepts this offer and thanks Frank for the educational and pleasant walk.
Working group Play, Green and Environment
Tine, Ineke and Annie