Black bird, song thrush, fink and starling – our feathered roommates enjoy the marvellous nature on allotments in the same way as we humans do. They find their food, raise their young ones and bring us much joy with their sweet singing. Therefore, the first bird survey took place in spring, on the Lower Austrian allotments. The bird protection organisation BirdLife Austria presented these exciting results in 2017.
All together, at the end of April, 10 allotment associations, which had participated with enthusiasm in the bird counting action, reported their most common garden birds to Obmann Franz Riederer. “Most of the bird reports were from the Krems allotment gardens followed by Stattersdorf and Traisenstrand/Edelwies. The action was a complete success – the allotment gardener’s heart also beats for birds!” the chairman reports full of pride.
The most common birds on allotments
The field sparrow grabbed the gold medal in the first allotment competition, closely followed by the blackbird and the great tit. The garden red tail just missed the podium, but was nevertheless sighted on 60% of all the allotments. These results of the survey from Lower Austria also coincide with the bird species, which are found on Austria’s local gardens, commented Norbert Teufelbauer from BirdLife, specialist in ornithology.
Record holder St. Pölten Kollerberg
Particularly exciting is the biodiversity observed on Kollerberg’s allotments: The bird friends spotted 22 of the 31 sighted bird species! With this result the allotment garden association Stattersdorf (15 species), Klosterneuburg Rollfähre and also Krems with 8 spotted species could be clearly left behind. Birds visit natural gardens with a diverse garden design and presenting many native crops, hedges and fruit trees. Such allotments are especially attractive to the feathered friends and one will soon be rewarded with a multitude of bird species.
Special highlights of the bird counting were the sighted lesser spotted woodpecker, one chiffchaff and one wren. These small birds like gardens with some higher trees, but also presenting denser corners with shrubs and hedges and a large range of insects. “Birds are considered to be important indicators of an intact and a livable environment. The more bird species you can observe on the allotment, the more valuable it is for the animal world” stated the biologist.
The national federation of allotment gardeners of Lower Austria and the federation of the ÖBB Agriculture, with their local departments in Lower Austria invited all the associations, to report people ready to count birds for the „hour of winter birds“ – beginning of January 2018 – and people ready to count birds for the activity “spring and birds on the allotments” – end of April 2018. Not much effort and input is needed, just an hour of one’s time. The people ready to count birds that have been reported to the organisers will receive the necessary information and documents in due time. Those members, who already counted birds as “pioneers” last year informed that they will also be available for this action this year, because this „work“ in the garden brings them special pleasure.
BirdLife is the only countrywide and international bird protection organisation in Austria. For the last 8 years already BirdLife has been successfully running the Austrian wide bird survey “hour of the winter birds” around the 6th January. More information can be found at www.birdlife.at
At the occasion of its 100th anniversary celebration and the international congress in Vienna, the central Austrian allotment federation successfully cooperated with a production company. The idea for an internet platform "KleingartenTV" (allotment TV) originated from this cooperation.
"KleingartenTV" serves as an information and communication platform. The central Austrian allotment federation's aim is to strengthen the community spirit of the allotment gardeners and to provide them with an opportunity to get more easily in touch with each other. Additionally, the members can be informed promptly about important topics. Thus, the internet platform "Kleingartentv.at" is a perfect complement to the monthly magazine of the federation "Kleingärtner", the homepage "www.kleingaertner.at" and the presentation in various social media.
After a month of testing, the platform went online on September 1st, 2017 for all Austrian allotment gardeners and subscribers to the magazine. During the first weeks, more than 700 members registered on the platform. Currently 25 videos are available. Every 1-2 days a new contribution is going to be inserted.
Entertainment and information
The contributions on "kleingartentv.at" are divided into several categories. Under "Garden-News" you can find videos with tips, recipes, information from the central federation and a glance behind the scenes of the allotment movement. The category "Mein Garten" focuses on the inhabitants of the allotment gardens. Here their hobbies and special features are presented. The allotment associations are presented in the category "Garten Doku". In addition, you find here contributions on the long history of the Austrian allotment movement. Impressions from events and anniversaries are gathered in the category "Garten Fest" (Garden festivals).
In addition to the videos produced by the central federation, users have the opportunity to share their own contributions, videos and pictures with the other users.
Virtual associative house
The virtual "Vereinshaus" (associative home) is an Online-Community in which the allotment gardeners can connect with each other. Each user can create an individual profile. Similarly to what happens on other social media platforms, videos and photos can be shared. Furthermore, members can meet in self created interest groups. The user can add "Friends", chat and write messages.
In this way the Austrian allotment gardeners are given the opportunity to get closer, swap ideas according to their interests and support each other.
VIDEO (German) https://youtu.be/TyMiSjKaHfs
The allotment garden award is organised in Vienna since 1998.
On August 29th was so organised for the 15th time the remittance of the allotment garden award. Many very creative projects were sent in concerning the subject: "The garden clock – my garden all over the year".
Additionally, there was this year a special category entitled: "My allotment all over the last 100 years". Awards were also granted for this subject. This special category was initiated because the Austrian allotment federation will celebrate its centennial in 2016.
During the official ceremony in the festival hall of the Vienna Town hall many allotment gardeners could enjoy this celebration both from a culinary and musical point of view.
This year the guests could again try self-made products (marmalades, schnapps, liquors) offered by the women's group of the Floridsdorf and Simmering allotment associations and many people used this delicious offer.
The winners of the allotment garden award are:
1. Place: Susanne Kristek, association Maulwurf
2. Place: Elisabeth & Martin Loidl, association Neue Wiese
2. Place: Brigitte Holub, association Rosental
3. Place: Martina Krüger, association Rosental
3. Place: Erna & Andreas Gadinger, association Rosenhügel