Fruit orchard habitat

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Origins and importance of orchards

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The orchards on the bot­tom of the Aar­nescht leave their stamp on the land­scape.

Fruit-grow­ing has a long tra­di­tion in Lux­em­bourg. The most fre­quent vari­ety of nowa­days had already been cul­ti­vat­ed dur­ing Roman time, who also intro­duced wine­grow­ing in our regions. The Romans most often plant­ed the fruit trees in their gar­den or not far from their hous­es. It is only in the 16th cen­tu­ry that orchards and wine yards begin to spread over open land and form a promi­nent ele­ment in the gen­er­al cul­tur­al land­scape. In the com­mu­ni­ty of Nieder­an­ven, fruit grow­ing has a long tra­di­tion. In the 19th cen­tu­ry, when the paper mills had to close, many of their work­ers could be reem­ployed in the fruit grow­ing sec­tor. On the Aar­nescht an impor­tant part of the buffer area (zone B) is con­sti­tut­ed by orchards.

Why the orchards should be preserved

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The Lit­tle Owl lives in the old caves of the fruit trees.

The orchards are form­ing an impor­tant part of the region­al land­scape.

They inte­grate with har­mo­ny the sur­round­ing land­scape into the dwelling area, they improve the local cli­mate, pro­tect the slope grounds from ero­sion and the graz­ing cat­tle from wind and rain.

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The Eurasian Wry­neck is a typ­i­cal species of the orchard.

But they also form for many dif­fer­ent kinds of ani­mals a pro­tec­tive biotope.

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The Edi­ble Dor­mouse lives in the grot­tos.

More than 2000 dif­fer­ent fau­na species (of those 90% insects) are liv­ing in the orchard, form­ing a very impor­tant biotope with its trees and ground.

The char­ac­ter­is­tic bird species of the orchard are the Lit­tle Owl and the Eurasian Wry­neck, belong­ing to the species of the wood­peck­ers. The Gar­den Dor­mouse, the Hazel Dor­mouse or but­ter­fly species like the Brown Hair­streak and the Leop­ard Moth.

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In autumn the fruit is a major food source for most kinds of insects. The hedge­hog finds its food on the ground.

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