natur&ëmwelt English-speaking Section Newsletter - July 2013


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natur&ëmwelt English-speaking Section Newsletter - July 2013

  1. 1. Newsletter July 2013 English-speaking Section
  2. 2. Saturday, 31 August 31 2013: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Meeting point: church in Troine For more information and to register: Guided excursion looking for the typical birds of the Ösling in the context of the LIFE Éislek project. The LIFE Éislek project (Fondation Hëllef fir d´Natur) aims to restore the diversity of wetland habitats at 11 sites in the Natura 2000 network in the Éislek region and improve the conservation status of three target species (Whinchat, Red- backed Shrike, Violet Copper). A Day in Nature: The birds of the Ösling Photo © Tom Conzemius
  3. 3. Saturday, 28 September 2013 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Meeting point: at the farm (see link below) For more information and to register: Join the natur&ëmwelt English-speaking Section to visit an organic farm, the Kass-Haff farm. The visit is for parents and children who will be able to pet and feed the animals (i.e. cows, horses, goats, hens, pigs, rabbits) as well as hear from the farmers on what the animals need and how they behave. A Day in Nature: Organic farm visit Photo © Kass-Haff
  4. 4. Saturday, 23 November 2013 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM Saturday, 8 February 2014 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM For more information and to register: Are you looking to earn Service hours on your Mérite Jeunesse? If so, come and work on our Fit by Nature events! The area between the towns of Brouch and Bech is one of the last known places in Luxembourg where the Grey Partridge(Perdix perdix) breeds. The natur&ëmwelt English-speaking Section is organising a "Get Fit by Nature" to clear part of a site to open it up to create a wildflower meadow surrounded by a diverse hedge row, which will provide shelter and a barrier against agricultural fields. An explanation of the site, its importance and the future plan for the development of the site will be given at the event. Fit by Nature... ...for the Grey Partridge Photo © SICONA
  5. 5. We would like to thank our volunteers, Pooneh Poostchi, Laura Gouvras, Lindsey Stokes and John Ward for their translations of web pages of There are still more pages to translate to provide further information to our English-speaking members. You do not need to be a professional translator to help us! Would you like to contribute? Contact us: Tools such as these can do most of the work for you: Volunteering: Translation of web pages
  6. 6. We are looking for 2 people to help us in our communication and marketing, such as informing our mailing list of our events using online tools (e.g. mailchimp, eventbrite). Do you know anyone who could help? Would you like join our committee to help organise events and activities? Contact us: Volunteering: Communication and marketing
  7. 7. When I set off on 13 April, I had no idea what to expect. My parents had only told me that it had something to do “with mussels in Luxembourg”. At first I couldn’t take them seriously, mussels in Luxembourg? I would soon find out that there really are mussels in Luxembourg. My parents had organised a lift for me and at 08h30 sharp (on a Saturday morning!) a lady collected me. Before heading off to natur&ëmwelt's Mussels Rearing Station, we had to pick up another person at the train station. Our destination then was Lieler, Luxembourg. Neither of us really knew what this trip was about nor where Lieler even was! All we knew was that we were heading north and after an hour’s drive we finally got to Lieler. Here we had an introduction to the freshwater mussels. I was quite amazed to hear that they even existed in Luxembourg, or for that matter that freshwater mussels even existed at all! We were told how useful freshwater mussels are to river and streams since they are filter feeders. They filter the water and make it cleaner. We then went on a walk to the rearing station for the freshwater mussels. At the station we were shown a film (with French subtitles) which showed the life cycle of a river mussel and the dangers they face. Most mussel offspring don’t survive because they suffocate. They grow in the gravel of rivers and stream, but sediment seals the gaps so the mussels cannot breathe. We were then given a tour of the station and shown how they try to keep the species alive by the means of raising the mussels until they are big enough to survive on their own, and releasing them into their natural habitat. This was A Day in Nature on 13 April 2013: Mussels in Luxembourg? Photo © natur&ëmwelt Philip Murdock, Volunteer Video with German subtitles: pearl-mussel.41-2-0.html
  8. 8. The ‘Kaiserstuhl‘ is a volcanic pimple in the landscape: on its own, in the Rhine plain in the bottom left-hand corner of Germany. Actually, it’s a bit more than just a pimple. It includes a few villages, a bit of market gardening, and a lot of wine-growing terraces, carved back-breakingly out of the hard rock, but with a remarkably thick cover of wind-blown loess soil. It’s a very special region, with an equally special fauna and flora. It’s one of the warmest places in Germany. It’s why a group of naturalists from the English-speaking section of the national conservation organisation ‘natur&ëmwelt’ went to visit it one weekend this May. It was, as everywhere else this year, a late spring, and we timed our visit to perfection. The Kaiserstuhl’s star, a breeding colony of spectacular Bee-eaters, arrived together with us, joining some of the region’s other resident or recently returned ornithological specialities, like breeding Hoopoe, Wryneck, Peregrine Falcon and Hen Harrier. Birds and humans got very good sightings of one another. This was a Weekend in Nature on 4, 5 May 2013: Birding on the Emperor’s Seat Photo © natur&ëmwelt Bee-eatersOur group enjoyed expert guidance and fieldcraft from some really knowledgeable members and friends. It won’t be the last such trip we’ll be doing. If you want to know more about our present and future plans, and about how to join in on our walks, excursions and practical conservation activities, drop us an e-mail at David Crowther, Volunteer and Committee Member
  9. 9. Picture this scene: a meadow covered by knee-high grasses, flowers clumped in small but perfectly formed summer bouquets, sun smiling down – suddenly there is movement. One of us takes flight – gamboling through the grass like a spring lamb, butterfly net swishing manically from side to side in hot pursuit of the elusive quarry. There is no evil intent – merely a desire to net one of these fluttering beauties, capture it briefly in an observation jar and then meticulously pore over every nuance of its markings, wing shape, size and how it compares to the treasures found previously by others in our party. We all become observers of detail – fine details like shades and tones of colour, shape and pathways of line markings, position of spots and colour on wing parts. A whole new world in miniature is opened up to us who have embarked on this learning expedition to the far north of Luxembourg in Basbellian on a site that is perfect for viewing the focus of our expedition – The Violet Copper. Our expert guides for the Day in Nature - from Caterpillar to Butterfly - are Marie, a butterfly specialist and Mikis (an ornithologist) both representatives of natur&ëmwelt. They provide us patiently with their extensive local knowledge and answers to questions coming from those within the group who are already astute and knowledgeable about butterflies, moths and other local wildlife; others of us on the beginning of our learning curve. Continued on next page This was A Day in Nature on 16 June 2013: From Caterpillar to Butterfly
  10. 10. This was A Day in Nature on 16 June 2013: From Caterpillar to Butterfly Photo © Mikis Bastian Mikis expertly and effortlessly nets a Violet Copper in the first few minutes of our arrival on site. This tiny specimen (wingspan of 24 to 26 mm) exhibits vibrant blue and orange colouring in the male of the species and orange/brown in the female. We are enchanted equally by the colour and size but mostly by the revelation that this butterfly is quite rare and often confined to small sites such as this swampy wet grassland. For me, learning more about the work of natur&ëmwelt has been a revelation. I had limited understanding of the scope of the work and the commitment by this organisation to the understanding and development of the ecology of Luxembourg. My Day in Nature with this group of interesting, and knowledgeable people has served to inspire me to learn and be more involved. Mrs. Pat Tunney, Volunteer A guide on butterflies in French or German can be downloaded from this webpage: emwelt_ShowNews_News.1-2-184-2.html
  11. 11. Articles (EN) Translated by Our Volunteers: Freshwater pearl mussel Organic Station SIAS (Syndicat intercommunal à vocation multiple) EU Parliament lacks nerve for agricultural policy change Agriculture, nature and biodiversity (Emeschbaach Farm Project) No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and pesticides in our plates! The apprenticeship hive and the wall of wild bees bees.59-1-0.html Further documentation
  12. 12. Articles: Weimericht – des pelouses calcaires protégées? An article about the site where we had our 2 February 2013 event. orchard Buying local at Luxembourg's markets 512b8e75e4b0367ed8ec3872 Shop local, says butchers' association 5125f910e4b08b5cc9bdaaec Further documentation
  13. 13. Contacts: Coordinator for the section: Mr. François Benoy, f[dot]benoy[at]naturemwelt[dot]lu Tel. +352 29 04 04 15 route de Luxembourg, Kockelscheuer, L-1899, Luxembourg Committee: Ms. Francesca Heffernan, Ms. Mea Shepard, Ms. Marianne Thiry, Ms. Marie Kayser, Mr. Mikis Bastian, Mr. Marc Thiel, Mr. David Crowther, Mr. John Park