Only ca. 17 km from downtown Hamburg, the Vollhofner Forest lies to the south. In just under 60 years, an untouched natural idyll has been able to develop on a former flushing field – without any human intervention at all. Many rare animal and plant species have found a habitat in this 45-hectare area. But this pioneer forest is under threat. The area of the forest is part of the port expansion area and will be reserved for logistics halls according to the 2012 port development plan. For this the ca. 30.000 trees to be felled. Since 2012, the port’s turnover figures have dropped significantly and the urgency of the climate crisis has clearly increased. Therefore, the climate protection initiative Vollhofner Wald calls on the Hamburg Senate and the HPA (Hamburg Port Authority) to stop the plans to cut down the forest once and for all and to put the forest under permanent protection. After activists* campaigned for the preservation of the forest with a tree house in the fall of 2019 with media attention, the area was closed to the public. The forest has been accessible again since August. In June 2020, the SPD and the Greens agreed in the coalition agreement that the Vollhofner forest should no longer be used for port development, but that other previously untouched natural areas should make way instead, for example in Altenwerder. Only if these were developed, the forest would be put under nature protection. This use of natural areas for industrial purposes has unfortunately already become a tradition in the Suderelbe area.
We do not accept this anymore!
You want to do something?
Climate strike 3.12.2021
With the current Hamburg climate plan we do not prevent the climate catastrophe!
The decisions of the climate conference in Glasgow are in no way sufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C!
The coalition agreements of the probable future federal government hardly raise hopes.
"There is much to be said!"
Under this motto we will demonstrate next Friday together with Fridays for Future and many other initiatives.
The climate strike starts at 2 pm at Arrivatipark (near Gruner Jager) The route goes ca. 3 km to the writing 1.5 °C
We will be there and look forward to seeing you!
Forest walk 28.11.2021
There are regular walks in the Vollhofner forest again (every 3-4 weeks)!
From 12 o’clock. Meeting point is – as always – the "Kehre" on the road Vollhofner Weiden between the bus stops "Dradenauer Deichweg and "Hafenbahnhof Alte Suderelbe" (Old South Elbe Port Station) (bus lines 146, 250, 251). There will be a shuttle service for cyclists from the Finkenwerder ferry dock at 11:30 am.
News from the Volli: Deadwood
A hallmark of natural, wild forests is that lots of broken, fallen trees are crisscrossed in all stages of decay. This "deadwood", which is often cleared out of the forest in managed forests, fulfills an important function in the life cycle of the forest: it forms the basis of life for numerous insects, birds, lichens, fungi, mosses and microorganisms, right down to young shoots, which find an ideal breeding ground on the old trunks. The permanent change, the simultaneous presence of all stages of life, is a basic law in a natural forest. In Volli, a forest floor has formed over decades that would be much poorer without the deadwood inputs. Nutrients that the trees have extracted from the soil over many years are thus returned to the upper soil layers. At the same time, they form the basis for the diversity of plants and animals and for the resilience that characterize a healthy forest. The slow but steady passage of time of the constantly regenerating forest soil has nothing whatsoever to do with the rush of just-in-time of an economy geared to profit maximization.
News from the Volli: Sulfur spurge
Last year it could already be seen shining through the forest: Now a yellow-orange sulfur spore has formed in a different place (see photo). Halay up a willow, the large fruiting body emerges from the trunk. In parks, the porling is considered a "pest", infested trees are rigorously killed. Because the fungus, which likes to live in deciduous trees, feeds on the decomposition of the heartwood and softens it. This may increase the susceptibility of the tree to breakage.
In Volli, no one is fighting this fungus, which has its very own function in the ecosystem – and if you look closely, you will notice a woodpecker hole below the "canopy" formed by the fruiting body of the fungus. Woodpecker and fungus enter into a symbiosis: The fungus penetrates the wood more easily via the wounds made by the woodpecker, and the woodpecker can subsequently create its burrow in the softened trunk. Such coexistence often only succeeds in wilderness areas such as Volli – when no one gets the idea of having to intervene in a formative way.
On 24.09.2021 there will be another bicycle demonstration!
Start is at 10 o’clock in Teufelsbruck.
After a short rally we will go together on the way to the climate strike.
In the process, we will vorraussichtilich take the following route:
Elbchaussee – Halbmondsweg – Reventlowstrabe – Walderseestrabe – Behringstrabe – Barnerstrabe – Bahrenfelder Strabe – Schutzenstrabe – Kohlentwiete – Stresemannstrabe – Alsenstrabe – Doormannsweg – Fruchtallee – Schroderstiftstrabe – Karolinenstrabe – Glacischaussee – Millenrtorplatz – Willy-Brandt-Strabe
News about large-scale tree sawing during the breeding season
The Greens have asked a small question about the tree pruning work in Hamburg-Mitte. The question and the enlightening answers can be found here:
By the way, the nature conservation office of the environmental authority has published working instructions, which are to guarantee that the protection of species is kept when applying the tree protection regulation, see in this document here above all the pages 22-34.
Press release of the climate protection initiative Vollhofner forest
It is unbelievable! The district office Hamburg-Mitte carries out large-scale tree sawing work in the middle of the breeding season!
Throughout Finkenwerder, extensive pruning of trees has been carried out in parks and green spaces since the end of May. And not only Finkenwerder is affected. Similar cases are reported from Wilhelmsburg and other parts of the city. The "summer felling ban" applies! It is based on §44 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act and concerns the "special protection of species". From 1. March until 30. September may take place because of the breeding and rearing time of the animals only in the examined individual case with "danger in the delay" cut work at trees. The sawing company employees on behalf of the district office Hamburg-Mitte simply ignored this. Trees were pruned in rows. For this purpose, the company employees climbed high into the crowns of the trees. Directly beside bird nests branches were sawed off. Pencil-thin to arm-thick leafy twigs and branches fell from the trees onto lawns and into bushes. For days was sawed and shredded. The protection of species was simply ignored!
On inquiries with the district office leader Falko Drobmann and after numerous complaints from the population with different authority coworkers let the district office Hamburg center in a press release know: "The tree care work was ordered by range city green and given in order. These are measures, where a high urgency for the production of the traffic security was determined by preceding tree controls."Our attached photos show a different factual situation: Essentially, trees were pruned and thinned out – all pruning measures that usually take place in winter. According to the district office, species protection is also guaranteed: "The contracted companies are contractually instructed and technically capable of discovering unforeseeable habitats of protected species during the work on the tree; as soon as this happens, immediately stop the pruning measures and inform the district office immediately." Also that is wrong: The protection of species during the breeding season can be ensured only after previous breeding bird mapping – which did not take place in any case. Finding nests during the sawing work already means that one has come too close to the nests. It is simply not possible to find nests in dense, leafy canopies or brush without disturbing them. And an impairment is already given if there is no nest in the tree to be pruned, but there is a nest in the neighboring tree or bush and the adult birds no longer fly there because of the disturbance.
Since both the responsible authority coworkers and the company coworkers must be presupposed the appropriate specialized knowledge, the sawing work continued however despite our complaints, must be assumed from deliberate acting. Therefore at least 12 citizens*innen already made criminal complaint after §71 federal nature protection law against the responsible persons. It could additionally be a violation of European nature conservation law, see: 04.03.2021 ECJ: Wake-up call in species protection law – the "Protect the Forest" case
On 29.05.2021 we call together with other initiatives for a bicycle demonstration for the preservation of all natural areas in Hamburg.
Starting point for our route is at 13 o’clock in Teufelsbruck.
The flyer is available
There is also a poster
Preserve the old Southern Elbe Elbe deepening undo – for a different port policy
Rally against the opening of the Alte Suderelbe
When on Wednesday, 21.04. When the tractor demo rolled out of the Alte Land onto the Jungfernstieg in Hamburg, we were there too, demonstrating for the preservation of the Alte Suderelbe and against the deepening of the Elbe.
Debate in the Burgerschaft
A motion (PDF, external), which among other things includes "to stop any measures to open the Alte Suderelbe at the state level", was rejected in the Burgerschaft.
The recording of the debate is available in the media library of the Burgerschaft.
Even if the result was foreseeable, the debate showed that the opening of the Alte Suderelbe is not about an attempt of ecological revaluation, but only about not being inactive in the face of the sediment problem of the other Elbe riparian states.
What the ongoing deepening of the Elbe has done to the Elbe, you can see for example here:
The Elbe is in a really bad way! Not much is missing and Hamburg’s most important river is "tipping over. The only way to prevent this is to reverse the madness of the last Elbe deepenings. Please sign the petition and forward it to your networks!
For a living Tidal Elbe!
Here you can get a picture of the "circular dredging" that is going on day and night make:
In the case of so-called "maintenance dredging the Elbe sediments are transported from the harbor basins via the dumping site at Nesssand to the mouth of the Elbe. From there they make their way back to the harbor with the next tide. Several dredgers are permanently in use for this purpose, z. B. Shoalway, Amazon, Ijsseldelta, Taccola, Uilenspiegel.
Look for a ship on the map, under "vesseldetails" you can see under "past track and "show track options even let play the route of the last hours as a movie (also in time-lapse speed). very impressive!
Small inquiry to the Vollhofner forest
In a small question to the Senate, the LEFT member of parliament Stephan Jersch (view as PDF) recently inquired about the status of the protection of the Vollhofner forest. Reminder: In the coalition agreement 2020 it was agreed to remove the forest from the harbor area (to which it still belongs) and to place it under nature protection. "Instead, other areas of an appropriate size should be activated for port use".
The Senate’s response now makes it clear that not much has apparently happened since then:
"Since the middle of 2020, the Hamburg Port Authority AoR (HPA) has been evaluating possible areas that could be put to port commercial use. The process is not yet complete. A statement, to when a surface activation is realistic, is in this respect also in relation to the spare surfaces at present not possible."
Although the Senate expresses its intention to continue not to clear the forest and to carry out the protection until the end of the legislative term. In view of the length of the protection process, however, which also provides for public participation, public interpretation and the involvement of nature conservation associations, the concern is not entirely unfounded that the HPA will continue to evaluate unsuccessfully for the next three years and that there will be no nature conservation area before the next election in 2025.
Because actually, according to all forecasts of future handling figures, the port will not need any more expansion areas in the foreseeable future. Instead, quite a few existing areas are already unused, and even such ambitious and far-drawn projects as the western expansion of Eurogate are on the brink of collapse because their planning was already based on completely unrealistic assumptions.
The climate protection initiative Vollhofner Forest, which has been campaigning for years for the preservation of this unique forest, therefore calls on the Senate to abandon the search for "replacement areas", the development of which would be associated with further destruction of nature and soil sealing, and to initiate the protection procedure without delay. It must be possible, if the framework conditions change, to make such a decision even if the coalition agreement mentions reservations that can no longer be objectively justified, according to the Climate Protection Initiative. Because the coalition agreement also says:
"Coalition partners focus on preserving unsealed areas and near-natural as well as climate-relevant soils. (…) The coalition partners are committed to the precautionary protection of the soil as a natural resource."
Completely incomprehensible is in opinion of the climatic protection initiative however, why for some weeks again intensified the police patrols by the forest and even – in the middle of the breeding season – a police helicopter stands for minutes deeply over the forest. Also after it Stefan Jersch (DIE LINKE) had asked.
The senate justifies the police action in its answer with the fact that "in the proximity of the Vollhofner pastures in the area Moorburger Hinterdeich/Moorburger Kirchdeich" objects were deposited, which were "suitable for the building of accommodations or platforms". This place lies however more than 4 km far away from "the Vollhofner pastures", so that the reason for the complex employment, to which the senate does not want to comment itself "for operation-tactical reasons" further, richly puzzles.
The climate protection initiative demands that the forest be treated as an area worthy of protection by the authorities even before it is formally protected, and that the sensitive fauna and flora not be further impaired by unnecessary and obviously overzealous police action.
Stop the surface eating!
A new law aims to make it easier and faster to build on the landscape in an irresponsible way.
Please protest against this plan, support the NABU action: join in.nabu.en/en/surface-frass
From the end of January 2021, the Bundestag will discuss the draft law, a decision is expected in February.
Bicycle demo: Danni fight, traffic turnaround dispute!
Speech about A26West on YouTube.
Call: Bicycle demo – Danni fight, traffic turnaround erstreiten!
We are angry, angry about the unchanged traffic and environmental policy in this country. All over Germany, determined people are fighting against the steady expansion of the highway network and the continued focus on motorized individual transport. Although it is clear that these have no future and that this approach hinders a sustainable and equitable transport turnaround, it continues to be maintained. 5 years after the Paris Agreement was agreed upon, politics and economy show us constantly that they have nothing for climate justice, drinking water supply and biodiversity, except to trample them underfoot. Even more: people who take the ecological crises seriously and stand up against the enforcement of private economic interests are criminalized. Thus the agreement remains a lip service, with which a reaching of the goals is no longer possible. In Hamburg, the expansion of the A26 is accompanied by the permanent destruction of valuable living space for people, plants and animals and a further burden of pollutant emissions and noise, especially for local residents. And all this in order to increase the competitiveness of the port of Hamburg, a central focal point for neo-colonialism and capitalist exploitation of nature and mankind, by building more highways for freight traffic. We say: Enough is enough! It is time to accept that more and bigger roads do not mean a relief, but a further burden in many ways. Instead, sustainable mobility concepts for public transport are needed, as well as infrastructure for climate-friendly locomotion.
Together we want to show on the Hamburg highway how an ecological traffic turnaround can look like. With this we also show our solidarity with the activists who have been occupying the areas of the north Hessian forests, the Maulbacher Wald, the Dannenroder Wald and the Herrenlos Wald, for over a year, because here too habitat is to give way to the expansion of the A49. A legal report commissioned by the Hessian branch of BUND has shown that there is still legal room for maneuver to stop the clearing of the Dannenroder forest. We therefore call on the Hessian Minister of Transport, Tarek Al-Wazir, to put an immediate stop to the clearing of the forest. We call for a joint bicycle demonstration in solidarity with the struggles in the Dannenroder Forest, against the expansion of highways, whether in Hamburg or elsewhere, and for an immediate climate-just transport turnaround.
Together with numerous groups from all over Germany we call on Saturday the 12.12., the 5. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, we call on you to take the protest to the highways on our bikes! In solidarity with the struggles in the Dannenroder Forest, against the expansion of highways, whether in Hamburg or elsewhere, and for an immediate, climate-friendly traffic turnaround!
Bring your bikes, paint colorful signs or banners and let’s fight loud and clear for a just future.
- Ende Gelande Hamburg
- Interventionist Left Hamburg
- BUND Youth Hamburg
- Fridays for Future Hamburg
- Countercurrent Hamburg
- Green Youth Hamburg
- Alliance Transport Turnaround
- Future of the Wilhelmsburg Elbe Island
- Kimaschutzinitiative Vollhofner Forest
The Furstenmoor remains! – At least for the time being.
The Mercedes plant in Bostelbek will not be expanded for the time being. The plans to drain the moor, on which the new logistics site was to be built, can be put on hold "until further notice". This is good news. And this time the company even postponed the expansion before the preparation of the area was started. The Furstenmoor will not become a dreary wasteland like the one in Neuland, where DHL decided against the logistics location only after the moor had been drained and cleared.
(News on this topic on mbpassionblog and harburg-aktuell.)
But unfortunately this decision is not final. It seems that the Hamburg Senate cannot bring itself to consistently protect valuable green spaces in the city. Also the preservation of the Vollhofner forest is still not secured.
The Greens now want to convert the Furstenmoor into a nature reserve. But only if they do not oppose the creation of new jobs. In times of climate crisis, do the Greens really have to choose between the few jobs offered by a modern logistics center and a moor as an important CO2 reservoir?? The SPD, on the other hand, has a clear position and hopes that Mercedes will build the logistics center after all. And the construction site of the A26 West, which already runs along shortly before Neugraben, shows that the status of a nature reserve is not worth too much.
Meeting Sunday the 25.10.2020
In spring there was a lot of discussion about whether the current COVID 19 pandemic would lead to a paradigm shift in society, politics and economy. There was talk of permanent, radical changes. But the political and economic effort to quickly return to the previous "normal" state after the crisis without major changes is strong.
After half a year with pandemic, we can see that the "pandemic wake-up call" has lost its intensity. There are small changes, but the big reach has so far failed to materialize. Social and ecological criteria are still not given enough weight in decisions about economic aid and infrastructure measures. In the meantime, there are numerous and strong social actors throughout Germany, who are campaigning with a wide variety of means and strategies for this very thing. And yet, from Flensburg to Berlin to Garzweiler and Dannenrod, forests are being cut down and bogs drained so that more coal can be mined and new highways and factories can be built. The plans are often decades old. New circumstances and considerations are not taken into account. This is not a paradigm shift, but pure "business as usual"!
Next weekend is the anniversary of the clearing of the tree house in the Vollhofner forest.
The Hamburg Senate has spared neither effort nor expense in clearing poplar poplar. Until now, the Vollhofner forest has no protected status.
It is also not clear what the Senate plans for the forest or whether next steps are even being thought about. It has also not been clarified whether nature in Altenwerder is actually to be destroyed in place of the Vollhofner forest.
Ask your district politician, the port policy spokesman of your favorite party, directly to the first or second mayor.
On Sunday we will meet at the forest in consideration of the Corona requirements. There is room for exchange, entertainment and children’s fun.
For the completion of the A49, a second connection between Kassel and Giessen, a road is to be cut through the middle of the Dannenroder Forst (a ca. 300-year-old mixed forest) a ca. 70 hectares of aisle to be cut, dividing the forest. To prevent this, activists have erected tree houses along the planned highway route. In the nearby Herrenwald forest, a European nature reserve, on 2.10.2020 the tree houses cleared and the clearing directly started. Nevertheless, activists there continue to try to stop the clearing work. The Dannenroder forest can currently still be protected.
The planning of the A49 goes back to the 60s and has been discarded and resumed several times since then. The current planning leads the highway through the largely untouched nature of the 250-year-old Dannenroder Forest and a drinking water protection area. On 23. June 2020, although the Federal Administrative Court has ruled in favor of BUND that the 2012 planning approval decision disregards the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). However, the court has nevertheless rejected the action of the nature conservation association against the further construction of the highway. "The German water law is flexible enough" an activist quotes the reasoning of the court.
It is a legitimate question whether the mobility of the future lies in more highways and increasing road traffic. Or whether, on the contrary – also against the background of the climate crisis and the extinction of species – a fundamental reorientation of transport policy is necessary.
In the case of the A49, there are already alternative concepts to relieve localities heavily affected by through traffic. These are summarized in the "Dannenroder Appeal".
The climate does not benefit from mere commitments and targets – rather, effective measures must be implemented. A future-oriented transport policy requires a fundamental rethink in which ecological and social aspects are sufficiently taken into account and all those involved are not only listened to but included in finding solutions!
Bike demo against land grabbing on 27.09.2020
We thank all who participated in the demo despite the suboptimal weather!
With about 50 people we biked to the places of past and threatening destruction of natural areas.
Show speech from the kick-off rally
Speech at the bicycle demo of the climate protection initiative Vollhofner Wald on 27.09.2020
- At the Bostelbeker Moor, Daimler AG wants to destroy a 20 hectare, two meter thick fen, which provides a habitat for numerous strictly protected animal and plant species and actually enjoys a particularly high protection status, for a logistics center. Frederik Schawaller of the NABU will report afterwards more exactly on it.
- Neuland 23: Until recently, there was also an untouched former bog area in Neuland. After the city built over an eight-meter thick layer of clover and peat and buried the habitat of numerous endangered species under a sandy desert, the investor has unfortunately bailed out – without anyone being held responsible. We will have a look at the area later.
- Finally, I would like to mention the A26: This monster from the 20. The construction of the A49 in the 21st century, which is currently being squeezed between the Moorgurtel nature reserve and residential buildings and orchards in Francop and Moorburg, has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with a climate-friendly transport policy, and the ecological consequences are, in my opinion, not yet foreseeable. Gudrun Schittek is about to say something about the planned extension, the A26 East.
The Vollhofner Forest climate protection initiative is calling on 27.09.2020 to a bicycle demo against land grabbing at
Despite the accelerating climate crisis, despite the drastic loss of biodiversity, and despite the urgent need to preserve the last peatlands as CO 2 reservoirs, natural areas in Hamburg continue to be built on and sealed on a large scale.
Soil sealing in Hamburg by roads and buildings now amounts to 39% of the total area, and it continues unabated. Ten years ago, the share was less than 30%; in the early 1980s, it was just over 20%. Sealing means: the soil is deprived of the exchange between the earth and the atmosphere, the natural functions of the soil are impaired, and the soil is destroyed that will be completely destroyed rt. This not only affects the water balance, but also the ecosystem and the city climate. On top of that, sealing of the area is difficult and costly to reverse, let alone "compensate" for: a centuries-old peat bog cannot be relocated, but is lost without replacement.
The largest unsealed areas in Hamburg today are still to be found south and east of the Elbe and this arouses the desires of industry and the construction sector. It always seems easier to destroy another natural area than to deal with costly land recycling even if this would be the better way, not only from an ecological point of view.
We want to present two particularly drastic examples of land grabbing in the Suderelberaum and call for a bicycle demonstration:
We meet on Vollhofner Forest , which is still the property of the HPA and unfortunately not yet a nature reserve.
On the way to new territory, we stop at the Bostelbeker Moor and protest against the outdated draining and development of the moorlands by Daimler.
At the site of the final rally in New territory we find one "developed" by the city of Hamburg Industrial land before.
1. Bostelbek Bog
Near the Daimler plant on the A7 lies a 20-hectare, two-meter-thick fen that provides a habitat for numerous strictly protected animal and plant species and actually enjoys a particularly high protection status. The Harburg district assembly nevertheless approved the destruction of the moor for a Daimler logistics center with a red-green majority.
In order to be able to look in the mirror after this decision, one operates a little Greenwashing: The work is to be "climaticneutral" will be expanded and will have a photovoltaic system and a green roof. It is not known whether the displaced plants and animals are to be settled on it..
Let’s show on the spot loudly what we think of these plans!
2. New territory 23
Also in Neuland there was until recently an untouched moorland, today there is a huge sandy desert where nothing has moved for a long time. After the city removed an eight-meter layer of peat and destroyed numerous endangered animal and plant species for a commercial "park" Unfortunately, the investor bailed out without anyone being able to take responsibility for it.
Neuland 23 is to be one of 19 "climate model quarters" become- recently planned land-Projects named that are a little greened up. In view of the enormous importance of peatlands as carbon sinks and as diverse habitats, this is cynical and outrageous.
Putting an end to land grabbing in Hamburg and elsewhere!
For the unconditional receipt of still existing nature areas!
Our schedule is:
12:00PM Kick-off rally at Volli
12:30 Departure to Borstelbek Moor
13:15Intermediate rally at Furstenmoordamm, height of railroad bridge
15.3 p.m. Closing rally at Neulander Weg
Our route runs:
Vollhofner pastures – Waltershofer road – Georg-Heynken road
– Furstenmoordamm – Moorburger Bogen – Moorburger Strabe
– Seehafenstrabe – Seehafenbrucke – Buxtehuder Strabe
– Buxtehude Bridge – Walter Dudek Bridge – Grobmoordamm
– Grobmoorbogen – Neulander Strasse – Neulander Weg