In the Wachau region in particular, there are around 60 hectares of dry grasslands and meadow areas (orchid meadows, rough pasture) that are considered high quality in terms of nature conservation; at present, the approx. annual 20-25 ha are maintained at great expense by professional landscape conservationists and the Wachau Volunteers. Further meadow areas exist on the Jauerling. In order to ensure the longer-term preservation and upkeep of the open nature conservation areas in the Wachau and on the Jauerling, it would therefore be necessary to develop a sheep grazing regime with a focus on nature conservation and specialised in landscape conservation. To this end, the first step is to create an implementation concept supported by LEADER funding, which clarifies the prerequisites and framework conditions.
The project comprises the following key measures:
- Nature conservation areas/grazing areas: definition of suitable grazing areas in the Wachau region – based upon the data supplied by the client
- Mowing areas: identifying potential areas in collaboration with the association of World Heritage Municipalities Wachau and the Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park via workshops or stakeholder discussions
- Elaboration of a concept paper for an operating enterprise (e.g. based on the expertise of partners)
- Interested parties/business screening: identifying potential interested parties/agricultural businesses in coordination with the association of World Heritage Municipalities Wachau and the Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park via workshops or stakeholder discussions
- Rough calculation of business implementation for a maximum of 3 high-level interested parties (as required)
and thus delivers the following results:
- Suitable areas considered high-quality in terms of nature conservation for grazing in the Wachau are defined.
- Conditions for sheep grazing operations are defined.
- Interested parties for managing the planned enterprise have been found.
- Rough operational calculations for the maximum 3 most promising interested parties based on their initial situation have been drawn up.
- Stakeholders are involved; product range, market environment and marketing potential can be estimated.
As a result of the LEADER project, an implementation concept for sheep grazing in the region will be created with the objective of identifying a business that, as of the new LE/ÖPUL (agricultural environment programme) period, uses a large part of the areas that are valuable in terms of nature conservation for grazing and markets its products to the region. Alternatively, it may be ascertained that extensive sheep grazing in the Wachau region cannot be established or that there are no interested parties.
Capital provided by the foundation Blühendes Österreich and the Nature Conservation department of Lower Austria.
Discussed in the project selection committee: circular resolution 18.12.2019
Project promoter: Welterbegeimeinden Wachau (World Heritage Municipalities Wachau)
Funding level: 80%
With the support of the federal province, the federal government and the European Union (LEADER).