StudiesSpecial teaching methodsExcursions2022
Students build floating islands in the moor

Students build floating islands in the moor

Eleven students from the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning built floating islands from reeds in March 2022 as part of a week-long workshop and excursion. Floating islands have already been tested in various engineering biology projects, but not yet on peatlands. They are intended to calm the water on a rewetted peatland area and thus promote natural siltation and bog development. The islands were spread on trial areas of the research project "Insects revitalise peatlands" in the "Totes Moor" NSG on the Steinhuder Meer. The project was supervised by Amanda Grobe and Lotta Zoch.

The reeds for the islands were harvested beforehand during a day excursion in Hanover-Badenstedt at the Badeborn pond. During the excursion, the students were able to find out about the voluntary care work carried out by BUND Hannover on the site. The reeds were then harvested together as part of the annual winter reedbed maintenance at the pond - a win-win situation!

At the Badeborn pond, reeds were harvested in February and at the same time a maintenance operation was carried out on the water body (Fotos: L. Jenzen, A. Grobe).

During the week, the islands were first prepared on the university grounds: The reeds were freed from leaves and cut to the appropriate length. Then reed bundles were tied together to form different island shapes. In order to be able to test different variations, birch branches and coconut mats were also used as natural materials. The finished islands were then planted in the bog with typical plants of bog development (peat mosses, cotton grasses) and placed in the water at the end of the week. The pleasing result at the end is that the islands at least fulfil their first objective: They float.

Preparatory work for island construction in the greenhouses of the university campus (Fotos: L. Zoch).
In the Dead Moor, the islands were planted with cotton grasses and peat mosses (Fotos: L. Zoch, A. Grobe).
The islands were lowered into the water and fixed offset to each other at a distance of two metres from the shore (Fotos: L. Zoch, L. Jenzen).
By the end of the week, the islands were floating and able to take up their function of calming wave action (Foto: K. Körbach).