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If the beaver monk did not exist yet, it had to be invented. A beaver monk? Animal or human? Even search engines stumble at this term. However, they will report in the very near future: the beaver monk is a thing. It is made of concrete and steel. It was developed in the district of bamberg. And: it takes the interests of humans and animals into account.

The animal that gave the new development its name has the habit of damming up water because it can move around better by swimming. The damming of streams, on the other hand, does not please fishing rights holders (watercourse) or farmers (flooding/foresting of meadows/fields).

Their efforts to make the beaver dams more permeable, for example with drainages, in order to ensure a partial outflow of the water, are usually quickly undone by the animal inhabitants.

According to a press release from upper franconia, the company rockelein and the beaver consultants in the bamberg district have now developed a solution to this problem. With the beaver monk, the water around his castle can be regulated in such a way that the interests of man and animal can be reconciled.

In the middle to end of last year, when the pilot project at the lohndorf beaver habitat was launched, representatives from the authorities and associations were still skeptical. At the ford of the ellerbach, next to the path and the passing ditch, there was a concrete structure with various openings, reinforced with a heavy corrugated steel plate.

Christoph rockelein and stephan salzbrenner (beaver consultant of the bamberg district office) together with jurgen vollmer (also beaver consultant) presented the project to representatives of the authorities, district administrator johann kalb and mayor wolfgang mohrlein. The location was not chosen by chance. Here, between lohndorf and tiefenellern, the beaver has made itself at home for some time now. He has dammed up a part of the ellerbach in order to access his habitat from his beaver lodge – preferably by swimming.

The biodiversity in this area has been so significantly enhanced by the beaver. Besides this positive aspect for nature, there were also problems from the beginning due to the damming of the water. The adjoining road was flooded again and again and the agricultural land on the opposite side was flooded, so that it was impossible to cultivate it. The cost to the farmer and the community of litzendorf, which is obliged to pay maintenance, was immense.

Solution for all

Electric fence, dam drainage and the constant removal of the dam (approved by the lower nature conservation authority) for traffic safety reasons were enormous. Recently, the municipal workers had to remove the tangle of wood, plants and loamy soil several times a week.

Christoph rockelein, junior manager of kaspar rockelein KG, and stephan salzbrenner thought that this should now come to an end. Both have tinkered with how to achieve a permanent regulation of the water level that allows the beaver to live in its territory at the optimal water level for it, – and at the same time prevents flooding of the floodplain and agricultural flatlands.

The principle of a monk, which regulates the water level in fish ponds and carp ponds, occurred to both of them. After some considerations, sketches and plan drawings the company rockelein could provide a prototype. It was installed last fall with the help of the community of litzendorf and has been in operation since then. The one or other farmer, walker or nature conservationist eyed suspiciously, it could be determined in the meantime that the beaver monch fulfills its purpose completely.

The beaver is happy with the water level in its habitat. The road is freely passable and the agricultural flat can be used again without restrictions. By regulating the water level, an unparalleled flora and fauna has become permanently established in the beaver biotope.

Since then, the personnel expenditure for the municipality of litzendorf is close to zero, so that the paid hours of the municipal workers have been reduced enormously.

The bravouros structure also survived the heavy rainfall in the spring. Another positive effect is flood protection. The beaver habitat regulated by the beaver monch creates retention space and rainwater pressure for enormous water masses. The towns and villages below can profit from this considerably.

The rockelein company wants to use the experience gained and make the project available to other municipalities and affected parties. The beaver monk modules can be ordered individually according to your needs. Interested parties can also arrange an appointment at the demonstration object with the rockelein company and the beaver advisors. (red/ldk)

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