Tidying up the Cultural Landscape of Rauchkogel

Topic area
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation

Disaggregation level

Project region
Lower Austria

LE– Programming Period
LE 07–13

Project period

Project initiator
Verein Rauchkogler / Association Rauchkogel

LE 07-13 information

Themenbereich (Untergliederung): ÖPUL und Umwelt (Biodiversität)
Maßnahme: M323

Short description

The project aims to farm, maintain and cultivate a small wine-growing area of 15-20ha in an eco-friendly manner.

Point of departure

The Rauchkogel is one of the last cultural landscapes of Vienna, but some areas are run-down - with residents and visitors using it to dump rubbish. It was in need of some TLC (tender loving care) and a project was launched in 2008 to preserve this valuable local recreational area for visitors, residents and schools as a cultural landscape that is also a habitat for rare animals and plants.

Targets and target groups

The project aims to farm, maintain and cultivate a small wine-growing area of 15-20ha in an eco-friendly manner. A group of farmers will cultivate this cultural landscape profitably, ecologically and sustainably. The aim is to maintain and promote biodiversity through targeted care, and to explain to visitors and residents the importance of respecting economic and cultural values.

Project implementation and measures

Rauchkogel farmers uncovered many overgrown trees, hedges, a stream, dry stone walls, vineyards and they have brought agricultural land back into use, and converted some of it to organic farming. A website shows the project’s progress and an event in June 2009 presented the project with a ‘wine blooming’ festival. Guided tours were held for students, residents and visitors to the biosphere park.

Results and effects

A group of farmers are preserving a diverse landscape, reversing the trend for farm closure or consolidation, and providing a valuable recreational area. They will share their experiences with other areas. Farmers will market produce locally, retaining income in the region and reducing transport costs. Residents will learn about ecology and benefit from the diverse landscape, while children will study the issues in school. Rare and wild animals will be protected.


The farmers/agricultural operators and land owners must be willing to work, support and develop ideas together. Coordination is essential, involving environmental protection experts, the municipality and local residents including schools. The project is currently supported by small local agricultural operations. Implementing the initial measures has been costly, and will require external financial assistance.