Our project consists of 3 phases in the first year. In the first phase, in spring (April), we envisage two working visits at the quarry with the pupils, which are intended to identify three biotopes deserving protection. The focus is the determination of the particularities of the purpose of protection (or rather butterflies or orchid biotope) as well as the theoretical development of the best conditions for the biotope with regard to species' requirements for light and nutrients or pH value etc., the identification of invasive plant species (goldenrod, black or yellow locust etc.) and other threats (e.g. over-fertilisation). The first phase is finalised with the compilation of a preservation plan which amongst others contains purpose of protection, course of action, tools and materials required, time line and last but not least the coordination of organisation and time frame of the next phases with HDCement.
The second phase May/June sees pupils dedicate their time to carrying out practical preservation and protection measures in the biotopes previously identified including keeping written and photographic records of their activities. These include amongst others cutting back shrubs using hedge trimmers, the felling of pines, willows and locusts and cutting back hedges as well as pulling out goldenrod by hand. Two days in the quarry are scheduled for this purpose. Once with two Natural Science classes (year 8) and once – for the heavy works – with a Geography class of the year group.
The third phase in the autumn is designated for compiling a written and graphic preservation report based on the results gained from the project. The aim of this phase is to create three information boards which graphically and pedagogically link to the existing info boards at the quarry and therefore increase the information value, in particular with regard to the quarry's ecological special features.
The focus of the project, on the one hand is the pedagogical concept of activity-based project lessons focussing on pupils' individual contribution in all aspects of the activity and on a product-based approach. On the other hand it focuses on our ideological conviction that our actions can not only destroy nature's diversity, but also regain and preserve it by acting responsibly. This includes specifically the identification of sensitive habitats, the development of sustainable management concepts, the written and graphic preservation report and the creation of information boards for the respective locations as well as the consolidation of our existing relationship with HD Cement as part of "KIS" (yearly quarry visits during blasting). Not to mention raising the awareness about the biodiversity in reinstated quarries amongst our pupils and visitors.