Environment & Nature

The ÖAV Department of Spatial Planning and Nature Conservation – Click for the link

Since the founding of the ÖAV 1862 there has been a high level of engagement to permanently protect threatened natural areas.  In 1880 there was a campaign for the protection of the mountain forest and large-scale afforestation was subsequently carried out.   In 1927, nature protection and conservation was officially included in the ÖAV statutes.  1980 the ÖAV established the Department of Spatial Planning and Nature Conservation.   It is one of the most important organisations in the field of nature and environmental protection throughout the Alps.  Since the Environmental Impact Assessment Act passed by the Austrian government in 2005, it is now the recognized environmental organization in Austria. The focus is now in the area of comprehensive conservation, Alpine land use planning, the Alpine Convention (an international treaty between European alpine countries) and environmental education.

AAC(UK) can do little to help political lobbying in Austria regarding land use, monitoring glacier retreat and other effects of climate change, but has appointed a Nature Protection Representative, currently Tony Cooper, who liaises with the ÖAV department and publishes relevant articles in the AAC(UK) newsletter.

In addition, Alpine Flowers – Former AAC(UK) President, Allan Hartley, has compiled a collection of 20 Alpine flowers with some beautiful photographs.

Help Track Alpine Biodiversity!
After a successful pilot in 2015 the Alpenverein is now rolling out its project – Vielfalt bewegt! Alpenverein to all its members. The main idea is to gather observations of 17 key species above the tree-line in Austria. Information on the web is currently only available in German, see here. You can obtain information from the project leader, Birgit Kantner, (in English or German), or from Tony Cooper.

Help track biodiversity! click to see pdf.

Invitation to Carrifran Wildwood

Carrifran Wildwood is a 700ha area in the Scottish Borders where there has been a very successful rewilding project. It’s an upland valley with its surrounding hillsides rising from 200m to 800m, in Dumfries and Galloway north from grid ref NT161117. I have an invitation to take a group from the AACUK for a visit, at a time to be arranged convenient to all.
You can find out about the site at carrifran.org.uk/ . You can see the effect of the project where, following extensive research, ½ million trees have been planted in 20 years to create a forest ecosystem similar to what was there 5000-odd years ago.
When to go is entirely open, except that going when the broadleaved trees are in leaf seems sensible.
If anyone is interested in principle please contact me at tonycooper@headweb.co.uk and if there’s a group we can talk about details and negotiate with the Borders Forest Trust who run the site.
Tony Cooper

[Updated 06 March 2019]

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