The RWTH Aachen, the Aachen City and Region and the Kathy Beys Foundation to create attractive habitats for native insects.
If we don’t make some fundamental changes, one million species worldwide will face extinction in the coming years and decades, according to the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released just a few months ago. Reason enough for the RWTH, the City of Aachen, the City-Region and the Aachen Kathy Beys Foundation to lend a helping hand to our native insect world. Together, they have initiated Project FLIP (named after the grasshopper friend of the popular children’s book, comic book and cartoon character “Maya the Bee”) to “promote the quality of life of insects and humans through perfect meadows”. The project partners will transform their own plots of land, for example grassed areas and agriculturally used meadows that are cut several times a year, into species-rich meadows by settling varieties of native plants there and thus restoring the habitat of a range of insects.
Do you happen to have a bit of lawn or land to spare?
To offer the insects attractive habitats on a broad scale, all local residents are also invited to get involved if they want to help the project partners in their search for further plots of land with a minimum area of 200 square metres that could also be upgraded for insects in the framework of the project. These could be larger lawns, intensively used agricultural grassy areas or the margins of fields, possibly owned by farmers, parishes, allotment garden clubs, educational establishments, business people or private persons. Anyone who has a grassy area measuring at least 200 square metres that they could spare for bumblebees and hoverflies is invited to contact Martina Roß-Nickoll, the Project Coordinator from the Institute for Environmental Research at the RWTH Aachen, who says, “If your grassy area has the potential to develop into a habitat for meadow inhabitants, we’d love to hear from you. Project FLIP will provide you with support in evaluating your plot and in developing and implementing the appropriate maintenance measures. During the project runtime, we will also evaluate how your plot has developed and which insects it has become attractive to.”
The following partners are collaborating in the project consortium FLIP (promoting the quality of life of insects and humans through perfect meadows) – RWTH Aachen University: Institute for Environmental Research, (Chair of Environmental Biology and Chemodynamics) and the Chair of Communication Science/ Human-Computer Interaction Center: the RWTH’s Outside Maintenance Division; the City of Aachen (Department of the Environment, Aachen Municipal Services); the City-Region Aachen (Environment Office); and the Aachen Kathy Beys Foundation (ASKB, Member of the Foundation Network for Education in North Rhine-Westphalia) – in the framework of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation’s Federal Biodiversity Programme