Project details

Agro-Socio-Economic Study for the LIFE-Project „Hessian Rhön – Mountain Grasslands, Wood Pastures and their Birds“

Species diverse Natura 2000 habitats of the bird sanctuary “Hessian Rhön”, i.e. mountain hay meadows and Nardus grasslands, represent habitats especially to meadow breeders such as whinchats, meadow pipits and common snipes. The LIFE-project “Hessian Rhön – Mountain Grasslands, Wood Pastures and their Birds” (start: autumn 2016) is meant to contribute to the conservation of this species diversity. A particular focus being the protection of meadow breeding bird species. However, increasing intensification of simply arable grasslands in higher altitudes on the one hand and the abandonment of hardly arable grasslands on the other hand are endangering flora and fauna of the mountain grasslands.

The objective to improve or restore species diverse grassland areas in the bird sanctuary “Hessian Rhön” can only be achieved in cooperation with agricultural holdings residential to the area. In this sense, farmers can contribute to conservation of these habitats e.g. through extensive land management. However, these measures often implicate a decrease in yields or higher efforts for farmers.

As part of a socioeconomic analysis the IfLS was assigned with, in a first step, an analysis of farm and income structure as well as farming methods of holdings in the area is carried out based on data collection and expert interviews.. In a second step, twelve local farms will be interviewed about these aspects. The objective is the development of solution approaches that consider the needs of agricultural holdings and reinforce the collaboration between agriculture and conservation.

Project no.: 



Conception | Socio-economics of farm business |


District Fulda, Biosphere Reserve and Natural Park Hessian Rhön

Executing Organization: 

Institut für Ländliche Strukturforschung e.V.


2017 - 2018

Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Jörg Schramek, Bettina Spengler