In the past, several roof slate pits were operated in the Baybachtal, below the Schmausemühle you can still find spoil heaps and tunnel entrances that were driven a few hundred meters into the mountain. Up to 40 workers were employed there in 1921. The mighty slate slabs can still be seen in the earth outcrops.
March 4, 2021
Slate deposits in the Baybach valleyIn the middle of the wild and romantic Baybachtal, the towering slate cliffs offer impressive insights into the history of the earth. What you can see here are actually the remains of a prehistoric sea. Because a good 400 million years ago, in the so-called Devonian, today's Hunsrück, just like large parts of Europe, was covered by a sea. Large amounts of soil were washed into the sea from the neighboring land. Thick packages of sediment were deposited there over millions of years and solidified over time due to their own weight. Medium-grain sandstones were created from sand, while the much finer-grained mud became so-called claystone. But that was not the end of the rock formation: tectonic processes deformed and compressed the deposited sediments and today's slate emerged from the original claystones. In the area of the Hunsrück and the Moselle, but also in the Rhine Valley, this slate achieves excellent quality in some cases, which made it a sought-after building material (e.g. for roofs) at an early stage. In addition to smaller tunnels, the large cave in the Baybachtal is also a relic of the mining of slate. Today slate mining in the Hunsrück is no longer worthwhile due to international competition.
July 17, 2021
Bats in the Baybach ValleyThe Baybachtal is an important refuge for bats. Twelve different species have been recorded in the Baybachtal, including the rare species Mops bat and Bechstein's bat. The most common is our largest native species, the mouse-eared mouse. In summer they live in the villages and forests in the area. There they raise their young in quiet attics of houses or in tree hollows. Each female bat has only one cub per year. In winter they retreat to the old slate tunnels. Every autumn bats come to the Baybachtal from a distance of up to 100 km and look for the tunnels. The bats hibernate here from October to April. They then live for months on the fat reserves eaten up in autumn. All body functions are reduced, you only breathe a few times a minute and the heart only beats 10 times a minute. In active time, it can beat over 600 times a minute. Individual bats can also be found in the tunnels in summer. Many tunnels are closed to protect the animals.
July 17, 2021
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