Game parks of the 17th an 18th centuries in Hohenlohe (Germany) - options for future management
||The 17 th and 18 th century ‘Tiergärten’ (wildlife parks) and ‘Jagdparke’ (game parks) of the noble classes, and the associated hunting lodges and castles, are still evident in the landscape. The networks of paths that exist in these forests today largely follow the course of the stalking trails, alleys and roughly star-shaped outlines of the hunting areas of the past. Hunting lodges, buildings and stonewalls surrounding the game parks are architectural relicts of bygone days and the tree species compositions typical of game preserves, comprising oaks, beeches and wild fruit trees, still dominate the vegetation of these game parks.
In order to preserve and cultivate historic landscape components such as game parks, it is important that knowledge of their significance in the cultural landscape be obtained. A central aspect of this is the documentation and analysis of the vegetation as a possible key to the history of the wildlife preserves.
The overarching aim of this research project is to create options for the responsible future management of ‘Tiergärten’ and ‘Jagdparke’ as cultural assets, based on sustainable forestry. This involves the following:
- Defining the difference between the terms ‘Tiergarten’ and ‘Jagdpark ’,
- examining the historical development and the modern form of former game parks,
- determining the influence that management for hunting purposes had on the past and the current tree species composition,
- evaluating the nature conservation value of these forests,
- identifying options – forest management, conservation and development – for the future management of game parks on the basis of cultural historical, conservation, forestry and nature protection considerations.
The research project involves an evaluation of historic primary and secondary sources, historical landscape analysis, vegetation analysis and the inventory of coarse woody debris, as well as an appraisal of nature conservation aspects of these forests. The results will be integrated into forest management. The game park research sites are located in Hohenlohe (Baden-Wuerttemberg/Germany).