In the spring, summer and fall months, my six hundred sheep are on the move throughout the Swabian Alb. They graze our fresh valley meadows and the extremely herb-rich juniper heaths. By the way, their occurrence, which is unique and protected throughout Europe, is thanks to our four-legged landscape gardeners. Apart from that, besides the rare gentian, numerous orchid species bloom, which are typical for the Filsalb like bushes, hedges, oak and beech forests.
As a result, not only did a large part of the grazed Alb areas fall victim to natural succession, but also a large piece of our cultural heritage. Although this fact is sad, it still reminds me daily why I chose this profession.
Just as typical for our region as flora and fauna, is also the image of the shepherd with his flock. For centuries, our profession has shaped the landscape of the Swabian Alb and has thus contributed significantly to its current image as a cultural landscape. So it is still an ecologically enormously valuable vocation, which is dying due to the price decline of wool and the enormous price pressure of lamb imports from overseas. Many shepherds gave up or retreated to outlying pastures.
And so, day in and day out, I move across the pastures with my furry four-legged friends. The unique calcareous meadows and juniper heaths are our responsibility and we carry it gladly and with passion. Grazing preserves habitats for rare plant and animal species that have adapted there to the natural conditions that have existed for centuries.