The Biological Station – full German name “Biologische Station Haus Bürgel, Stadt Düsseldorf – Kreis Mettmann e. V.” – was founded in 1991 as a non-profit association with the aim of preserving the natural treasures of Düsseldorf and the Mettmann district, and maintaining and developing the cultural landscape that has evolved here.
It belongs to a network of about 40 Biological Stations in North Rhine-Westphalia, which are united in an umbrella organization.
The Biological Station has the following main tasks:
With the support of volunteer conservationists, the biologists continuously collect data on the occurrence of birds, amphibians, bats and other animal species in the city and district. They record endangered plants and document vegetation worthy of protection.
Based on this ecological data, conservation measures are planned and put into practice. The Biological Station team plants and maintains pollarded willows, hedges and orchards, mows fallow meadows, de-bushes overgrown heathland, rewets formerly drained moors and renaturalizes rivers and streams. Regular inspections provide information about the success of this work. The return or absence of demanding animal and plant species is a particularly helpful indicator when assessing changes.
Farmers are important partners for conservation work. For publicly owned land, the biologists agree with them on reduced fertilization. Grassland is not mowed until the meadow flowers have bloomed. This kind of nature-friendly farming method is an ecological contribution on the part of the farmer, which is rewarded by rent reduction or public subsidies.
In addition, the Biological Station supports the dissemination of regional agricultural products. It advises the authorities and companies with its biological, ecological and landscape conservation knowledge, and prepares expert reports, for example on the potential for ecological enhancement at company sites.
The Biological Station team develops pathways, recommended hiking routes and information boards for our region’s visitors and residents. In doing so, they try to meet the needs of both people and nature: on the one hand, it gives all those interested the opportunity to enjoy the landscape and discover plants and animals. On the other, sensitive species and ecosystems get the rest areas they so desperately need for their preservation.
With excursions, lectures and hands-on activities, the Biological Station wants to get as many people as possible excited about nature and encourage them to act responsibly. The event program is published twice a year. It’s also possible to book training courses, events for adults, school classes or children’s birthday parties on a wide variety of topics.
Further information about projects as well as current work reports can be found on the website of the Biological Station at www.bsdme.de.