A suit filed in the Cologne Administrative court by BUND NRW, a local chapter of Friends of the Earth, has resulted in RWE postponing its planned begining of the cutting season from October 1st to October 25th. This court case addresses the lack of environmental assesments, disregard of Flora and Fauna directives and brings attention to two colonies of endangered Bechstein’s bat that are located in the area of the Hambach Forest that is to be cut this winter. These two habitats contain 30-35 females each and are brooding places for their young as well. The suit also addresses the endangered biodiversity of the oak and beach stands that are to be cut and which have stood there since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago and represent one of the last natural outposts of this type in the region.
A court hearing concerning the legal aspects of the future of the forest will take place in Cologne on October 17 Verwaltungs-Gericht (Administrative Court) in Cologne, Hall 160 at 10:30 clock. Make a note in your calendar if you are in the area.
Another area in which you could assist even remotely in blocking RWE with its plans to destroy the forest is by contacting as many naturalists, botanists, entomologists, ornithologists, etc at your local university, environmental or naturalist group and directing their attention to the struggle to save the Hambacher Forest. A parallel effort of this type has taken place in the ZAD the Notre Dame and in Bialowieza forest making them some of the most studied and documented natural areas in Europe. Hambach Forest is in the desperate need of similar grass-roots, non institutional studies to be used as an expanded activist tool set together with direct actions. Both approaches do not require professionalism or any academic training but interest and motivation only.
More info on the suit can be found on BUNDS website at