The traditionally managed orchards biotope

Traditionally managed orchards consist of fruit trees with tall trunks planted wide apart. The fruit is used fresh and in preserved form as well as the raw materials for the production of must and distilling into schnapps. But as well as for the production of fruit, these orchards are also used for agriculture. The arable areas are sown in strips with cereals and clover grass; no sprays or fertilisers are used.

Flora and Fauna

The old fruit trees and the open land between them are ideal biotopes for animal species inhabiting forest margins and areas of land divided into small sections. One bird species whose main distribution range is in the Kitzingen area is the ortolan.  Until a few years ago it regularly bred in the Kirschwasen area. Ortolans are ground nesting birds which often build their nests in cereal fields. Fruit trees or rows of trees are regularly used as perches and look-out posts as well as for marking territorial boundaries. A richly structured landscape also generates a wealth of insects which serve as food for the ortolan.

Significance for Europe

The ortolan, a typical breeding bird of these orchards, is a bird species which enjoys particular protection in Europe. Its song is also reputed to have inspired Beethoven when writing his fifth symphony.