Even in the rain the woods can be fun

The Waldfest in Oberursel traditionally takes place on the last Saturday of the school holidays, which in this year fell on the 12th of August.  Regular visitors will have found lots of familiar faces and activities from previous years.  Bernd Peppler and Liisa Inkinen were there with their birds of prey “Ukko” the eagle owl and “Pekko” the harris hawk.  There were stands to learn about bees, and nature quiz and of course the pond observations.  There were guided tours through the woods, as well as coffee, cakes, salads and the barbeque.

But there were also a lot of new things, starting with the opening at 12 noon which was carried out this year by the vice-chairman of the Schulwald supporters: Thorsten Schorr, who explained to the guests what other new things they could expect.

Klaus Witzel, Ann-Kathrin I., Rainer, Sabine Kinkel, Thorsten SchorrKlaus Witzel, Fountain Queen Ann-Kathrin I., Brunnenmeister Rainer, Sabine Kinkel, Thorsten Schorr

One new guest he was able to welcome was Fountain Queen Ann-Kathrin I., who was visiting the Schulwald for the first time.  She thanked the organising committee by presenting Bembels to Klaus Witzel and Sabine Kinkel.

Them music groups that had come to entertain the guests were also new.  First to play were the Jagdverein Hubertus (hunting club) along with the Jagdclub Main-Taunus.  Later the Ober-Erlenbacher Alphornfreunden  (alpine horn friends) played, led by Josef Bachmann.

The Jadgverein Hubertus with the Jagdclub Main-TaunusThe Jadgverein Hubertus with the Jagdclub Main-Taunus

Next to the central square the town’s utility company (Stadtwerke) had a stand about their new project with the Bergwaldprojekt e.V.  Customers who have their Ökö tarif for either electricity or gas may have noticed a €30 debit on their annual invoice for environmental and nature projects in Oberursel.  One of these projects will be in the Schulwald this year with the work due to take place at the end of October.  Part of this work is to improve the flow of water into the pond.  Other projects are listed on the homepage www.lebenswertes-oberursel.de.

For the first time the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (SDW, an charity with the aim or protecting the forests in Germany) had a stand.  Here, children could see a mummified brown long-eared bat, as well as the nests and eggs of blue tits, great tits, the nuthatch and the pied flycatcher.  At the stand Tanja Hug talked to the guests about the work the SDW does, and the fact that they have been working with the Schulwald for much longer, even if they didn’t take part in the Waldfest until now.  They have, for example, mounted nesting boxes for birds and bats.  But now Frau Hug is latest member of the Schulwald committee itself and she would like to create a connection between the two charities.  The SDW even has their piece of ground not that far away.  She also invited the children to join her at the Stierstädter Heide on 23rd September between 9.30am and 4pm to “pull out some trees”.

Tanja Hug showing Mirko (4, left) and Leon (4, right) the mummified batTanja Hug showing Mirko (4, left) and Leon (4, right) the mummified bat

Bats were also the subject of a new structure at the rear of the Schulwald.  Here the children could colour and make bat masks, while Petra Wittich explained the project to their parents.  On the wall there was a nesting box for bats to see, and Frau Wittich offers courses in making them.  The next appointment is on 9th September at 6pm and costs €9 per person or child plus €17 for the materials used.  To take part, send an e-mail to schulwald@oberursel.de.

On the other side of the Fledermaushaus wood from the different types of trees that can be found in the Schulwald could be seen.

Ober-Erlenbacher AlphornfreundeThe Ober-Erlenbacher Alphornfreunde

Unfortunately the weather was not as good as it had been in previous years, but the seats at the central area were almost always full anyway.  Luckily a lot of parents came prepared for the bad weather and had dressed their children with the appropriate wet weather clothes.

This article appeared in German in the Oberurseler Woche on Thursday, 17th August, 2017.


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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