The project ’Wiesenmeisterschaft’ (Meadow-Master Championship) has been used annually since 2006 to award the title to people who manage their meadows, pastures and orchard meadows ecologically, and to celebrate the award by bringing these managers into the limelight. Operating criteria such as the commitment to direct marketing and to educational aspects are taken into account in the assessment.
The goal is to reward the work of farmers in maintaining the landscape and ecologically valuable biotopes and species, and to raise awareness for the importance of this work among the wider public. At the same time, our intention is to sensitise the population – in their role as meadow partners – to the value of meadows and to encourage correct behaviour in visitors to these biotopes. In co-operation with farmers from various meadow master communities or districts, guided meadow walks are offered to the population and to all school classes.
Since 2011, the competition has taken place in 5 to 6 annually selected BR communities or in 1 to 3 BR districts of Vienna. In view of a reduction in the size of the overall area, it is possible to organise a more extensive information and framework programme for these events.
In conjunction with the sub-project ’Wiesenpartner’ (Meadow Partner), the BR Management offers, in co-operation with biologists and farmers, an extensive educational programme with presentations and guided walks for the population and all school classes in the Wiesenmeister communities/districts. The aim is to foster understanding for the high value of hay meadows, orchard meadows and pastures, current and historical agricultural use and the current production of sustainable regional products such as hay from extensively managed meadows, fruit products from orchard meadows, pasture-fed beef and lamb etc, and the correct behaviour of meadow visitors.
Since 2012, 2,163 school children and nursery tots from 26 schools and 4 nurseries respectively took part in 112 guided walks in the Wiesenmeister communities (Vienna and Lower Austria), and more than 100 people took part in another eight guided meadow walks.