Nature conservation starts on the doorstep
Nature conservation starts on the doorstep

Regional commitment: animal welfare and nature conservation on the doorstep

At the center of Sebastian Kneipp's philosophy has always been the appreciation of nature in all its diversity - with all its living creatures. For us, this means: We are happy about the abundance of treasures that nature gives us every day and are grateful to be able to use them for our products. At the same time, we do not take this for granted, but also want to give something back. In addition to our activities relating to the sustainability of our products, this also involves a fundamental commitment to the world in which we live. For example, we are committed to the conservation of native plant species and at the same time support local aid projects for animals. After all, regional commitment is - literally - close to our hearts by nature.

A haven of native biodiversity: our meadow orchard

That's what we call good neighborliness: apple, pear, sweet cherry, plum, ringloom and mirabelle trees stand side by side in colorful diversity on the meadow orchard of our company premises. Hedgehogs, slow worms, frogs, toads and grass snakes cavort among them, as do ants, ground beetles, crickets and spiders. And where insects live, birds are not far away. In short, our meadow orchard is a small, balanced ecosystem of its own, the likes of which are unfortunately becoming increasingly rare these days.

We attach all the more importance to this traditional form of man-made cultural landscape. Now we are experts in plant active substances and their use, but less so in the cultivation of old fruit tree varieties. That's why we had competent support in setting up our meadow orchard: Bernhard Neckermann from the Umweltfreunde Würzburg-Ochsenfurt cares about the habitat of native birds and has therefore been committed to the preservation of meadow orchards for years. He planted the meadow together with us and supports us in its care.

The trees are pruned regularly, but parts of the deadwood are deliberately not disposed of, as they provide optimal living conditions for the diverse native species. In older trees, we leave bark slits, cavities and the like open so that birds can nest in them. In addition, the Kneipp meadow orchard contains nesting boxes for bats and a hedge landscape with bee pastures and butterfly bushes.

The meadow is mowed no more than twice a year so as not to unnecessarily endanger ground-nesting bird species. It goes without saying that we do not use any artificial fertilizers or chemical pest control - after all, our colleagues are also happy when they can bite into a delicious, natural apple during their lunch break with a clear conscience ...

Hand in hand for the protection of native bird species: our nesting box project

In the last two decades alone, around 25 percent of the bird population in Germany has disappeared from the scene. It goes without saying that we do not want to stand idly by and watch this happen. This is where Bernhard Neckermann of the Würzburg-Ochsenfurt Friends of the Environment comes in again: along the ornithologically valuable Main-Danube-Lake Constance path, the volunteer conservationist has set up cat- and marten-proof nesting boxes made of wood concrete - after all, every surviving young bird is enormously important for the preservation of its species. The boxes offer various tit species as well as tree and house sparrows, robins, wrens, the house and garden redstart, the starling as well as the collared and pied flycatcher the same safe shelter that they increasingly rarely find in the wild. Even bats and insects can use the boxes to hatch their eggs or as shelter for the winter. We are also happy to support this project by financing nesting boxes.

Five four-legged guests at Kneipp

Besides our meadow orchard and the in-house herb garden, we still had plenty of green meadow left this spring. So why not think a little bigger (than insects and birds)? Thought, done - our flock of birds got new neighbors. We provided the vacant space free of charge to five very special Kneipp guests: Three mini Shetland ponies, a donkey, and a mule from a nearby sanctuary quickly settled in perfectly there. No wonder, given the quiet surroundings and the loving attention of many colleagues who were happy to keep the four-legged friends company at lunchtime or after work. Unfortunately, the animals were not always treated with respect before they were taken in at the sanctuary; our summer guests were happy about numerous nose scratches.

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