Werner is a retired school headmaster. He’s one hundred percent Lungauer and invests all his time and energy into conserving the region’s flower meadows, hedgerows and wooden fencing. Why? Because Werner is a passionate bird lover.
Lungau’s fields are incredibly pretty – filled with wild flowers of every description. They’re so pretty, in fact, that some of our visitors think the fields have been planted just for them! But no, it’s not for the tourists or for making flower bouquets. Lungau’s fields are pretty because the people here are passionate about preserving a sustainable, and sometimes old fashioned, approach to agriculture.
Lungau’s always been a bit behind times (so much so that these days we’re trendy again!). Historically the meadows here were only mown once, which meant we were (and are still) an Eldorado for wild flowers, herbs and all the lovely creepy crawlies that feed off and live in them.
Just as mother nature intended, Lungau’s wild flowers are all part of the food chain and thousands of different types of bird, including numerous rare species, thrive in the natural habitat of hedgerows and long grass. A good example is the “Braunkelchen” (Whinchat), which was at one time almost extinct. There are now over 160 breeding pairs in St Michael’s riverside meadows.
Werner’s dedication, along with the help of UNESCO, Lungau’s status as a Biosphere Reserve, and some other, complicated EU agricultural grants, means that 104 of Lungau’s farmers don’t begin mowing until the end of June. They appreciate our paradise as much as the rest of us. That leaves another 396 farmers in the region, whom we must convince to do the same.
And before I finish, let me just mention the bees. Can you believe that someone actually brings our bees over from the other side of the mountain to spend the summer with us? It’s true: our bees are actually from Carinthia and they come over in their little travelling hives! The proof is in the photos…
We’re so lucky to be able to live in this beautiful, unspoiled corner of the world – it takes a lot of beating. Why not come and see, smell, hear and taste it all for yourselves? The summer months are truly some of Lungau’s most beautiful 🙂