© DB AG / Manuel Dürer

We need more insects

Insects are an important part of the balance of nature. This makes it all the more alarming that their numbers have declined by up to 80 percent over the past 30 years. We as Deutsche Bahn want to do something about this. Throughout Germany, we are converting as many of our areas as possible into biotopes. We want to make a contribution to nature and species conservation so that endangered species such as bees, bumblebees and butterflies can find food and shelter all year round.

We are paving the way for sustainable management of our land through voluntary initiatives. For example, we sow flowering meadows, plant native and climate-resilient shrubs and trees and build wild corners as nesting sites for wild bees. Together with dedicated employees, we are rededicating our facilities and creating new valuable habitats.

Green lighthouses for more biodiversity

On the grounds of our signal box in Delmenhorst, for example, we have created a special biotope over an area of 5,000 square meters. Here, the old gravel surface was reprocessed with recycled play sand and transformed into a nutrient-poor meadow, which is almost impossible to find in today's landscape. The drier and more nutrient-poor such sites are, the more likely it is that grasshoppers and rare plants, for example, will colonize them. More than 300 native trees and shrubs were also planted on the disused tracks, and deadwood hedges and bat boxes were installed.

The area was designed and implemented by our employees on site in collaboration with a Bremen planning office for gardening and landscaping. The project is also supported by NABU Delmenhorst, the Society for the Promotion of Regenerative Microorganisms and the Nature Garden Association.

In another pilot project, for example, we have sown a meadow of wildflowers on an area at the vehicle maintenance plant in Nuremberg and laid out gravel turf on an area of around 1,000 square meters at the Kaiserbahnhof in Potsdam.

We laid the foundation for the sustainable design of our green properties with various partners as part of the EU-wide LIFE BoogiBOP project, which was completed in 2022. In future, we are also planning biotope areas at other DB sites and want to make a sustainable contribution to nature and species conservation.