Perlenbach and Fuhrtsbachtal are - like some other neighboring valleys in the Rureifel - one of the most valuable nature reserves in North Rhine-Westphalia. It has been estimated that more than 600 years of hay has been collected on these approximately 280-hectare meadows for livestock in the region. With a special irrigation system - the so-called "Flüxgraben" - the hay meadows were fertilized in spring with polluted stream water. Over the centuries, the narcissus-rich Bärwurz meadows, flower-rich wet and swampy meadows and Arnica-rich Borst grass lawns were created over the centuries.
The irrigation also served to increase the soil temperature, as the climate in the region is otherwise rather cool and humid. The annual average temperature is only about six degrees and on average 1150 mm of precipitation.In the fifties numerous valley meadows were reforested with spruces, because the use of hay was no longer worthwhile - the Flüxgraben were forgotten about it. Gradually, the dark spruce stands hardly any habitat for the once colorful splendor of meadow flowers and the diversity of butterflies, beetles and birds. In order to save the area, it was put under protection in 1976. Since then, it has become a model of nature conservation policy, as it is part of a German-Belgian cooperation of authorities, forestry offices and nature conservation organizations. For example, the meadow fallow is extensively used again by farmers, i. not fertilized and regularly mowed once a year.Source NRW Foundation
May 14, 2019
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