Students of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts plant Nieheim wicker hedge for the State Horticultural Show in Höxter
On the grounds of the Landesgartenschau - not far from Corvey Castle - around 40 students from the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts today planted wattle canes for the Nieheimer wattle hedges.
Nieheimer braided hedges are living fences that are being created on the grounds of the Landesgartenschau in the Weserbogen. In Nieheim, 25 kilometers away, the wattle hedge has a centuries-old tradition. Since 2018, it has even been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage. "So we're getting a cultural heritage site at the Corvey World Heritage Site," Landesgartenschau-Managing Director Claudia Koch is pleased to say.
The first-year students are putting about 350 large hedge plants into the ground near the NaturGartenForum. A total of three different types of hedges will be planted with a total length of 160 meters. "On the part of the university, we are very pleased to be able to realize such a great project as an original Nieheimer lichen corner," says Jessica Gabler, ecologist and research assistant in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. "For the students and aspiring landscape architects, this is teaching they can touch and teaching that stays in their minds." That's an important practical element in addition to the theoretical basics, he said.
The freshmen are putting about 350 large hedge plants in the ground near the NaturGartenForum. A total of three different types of hedges will be planted, with a total length of 160 meters. "On the part of the university, we are very pleased to be able to realize such a great project as an original Nieheim lichen corner," says Jessica Gabler, ecologist and research assistant in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. "For the students and aspiring landscape architects, this is teaching they can touch and teaching that stays in their minds." That's an important practical element in addition to the theoretical basics, he said.
Green enclosures made of hazelnut, hawthorn and maple plants
The hazelnut, hawthorn and maple plants have already been grown for this purpose in a nursery for more than a year. "The rods already have a height of two and a half to three meters," reports weaving hedge expert Ulrich Pieper from Nieheim. The length is also needed, after all, they are already to be woven in the spring using the special Nieheim technique. Pieper and his helpers from the Heimatverein and Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts want to show, on the one hand, the traditional Nieheimer wicker hedge made of hazelnut, but also two so-called cross hedges made of hawthorn or maple. "These resemble a hunter's fence."
The idea is to offer garden owners different types of hedges as a showpiece for the state horticultural show. "Many people shy away from hawthorn because of the thorns, but it blooms beautifully in the spring and bears fruit in the fall," explains Nieheim's local curator. In contrast, the maple hedge could score with beautiful foliage.
Special hedges with high ecological value
Wattle hedges form a green rampart and have a high ecological value because countless birds can breed in them and they provide habitat, shelter and food for many other animals - for example, partridges, reptiles or hares. "Even if hedges make work and need space - they bind however very much of the climatic-damaging CO2", stresses Ulrich Pieper.
Visitors to the State Garden Show can weave their own hedges under the guidance of the students.
To the Landesgartenschau he will be always on Fridays with his team in Höxter locally. The braiding hedge specialists make regularly offers with the colored classroom. "The garden show visitors can try out the braiding technique themselves," says Ulrich Pieper. Three to four members of the local history society will be present in Höxter on a regular basis to provide information on planting, care and the benefits of the wattle hedge, and students from the local university are also involved.
For Jessica Gabler it is already something special that the students can pass on their learned and experienced knowledge to the historical knot technology, ecology and culture of this immaterial cultural heritage to the visitors of the Landesgartenschau. "In this way, they are helping to ensure that knowledge of this beautiful and sustainable way of separating land is not lost," says Jessica Gabler. Tomorrow's landscape architects could consider braided hedges in future planning.
Master's thesis on Nieheim's wattle hedges.
The Nieheimer wattle hedges have also been the subject of master's theses by landscape architecture students. In his master's thesis, Julius Dickmann developed a proposal that could be used to develop a sustainable maintenance concept for the hedges. "I was fascinated by this impressive craft with its long history, which unfortunately is in danger of being forgotten," he says. Sustainability, protection of species and the use of native woody plants - all this is given with the hedges and should be protected and pursued, he says.