Mowing of wet meadows with horses

Topic area
Basic services, Leader, municipalities
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation

Disaggregation level
Environmental protection

Project region

Local Action Group (LAG)
LAG Ennstal-Ausseerland

LE– Programming Period
LE 07–13

Project period

Project costs overall

Project initiator
Leader Region Ausseerland; Naturschutzbund; LFZ Raumberg Gumpenstein

LE 07-13 information

Themenbereich (Untergliederung): Leader (Umwelt und Naturschutz)
Themenbereich (Untergliederung): ÖPUL und Umwelt (Biodiversität)
LAG (lokale Aktionsgruppe): Ausseerland-Salzkammergut
Maßnahme: M412

Short description

Wet meadows are species-rich ecosystems. A great number of wet meadows are abandoned because their management requires a lot of manual work. Therefore, todays challenge is to find sustainable management practices that are not time-consuming and have a low environmental impact. The use of horses with modern equipment for mowing was established for wetland management in Natura 2000 sites in Salzkammergut, Styria. The use of workhorses supports small-scale grassland farming and creates awareness for ecological sustainable landscape management practices. Mowing with horses has a low impact on wet soils and maintains the high biodiversity of wet meadows preventing forest and scrub encroachment. The ecological benefits are minimal noise, no emissions, no fossil fuels involved, and insects and birds can easily escape. Apart from mowing, horses could be used in versatile ways such as thinning of forests and transport services.