The development of the Swabian Alb Biosphere Reserve and what it can mean for the people and the nature is something that only some people experience directly, mainly because they are involved in it. Many other people (like myself in the beginning of this project) are not really aware of it. That is why I want to get to know the stories of the people, who are involved with an aspect of the biosphere reserve through their work or their hobby and let them tell their story.
A region the like the Swabian Alb is like a mosaic made up by many aspects and stories. Each story is a little piece of the overall picture and many more stories can follow.
The following multimedia reportages are a part of my project www.von-der-alb.de about people in the biosphere region of the Swabian Alb in Southern Germany.
For English subtitles please click on “cc”.
The Marble Maker
Stefan Metzler has the most rare profession within the Swabian Alb biosphere reserve. As a marble maker he uses hydro power from the small river “Seebach” in Neidlingen to make perfectly shining marble spheres out of stones from the Swabian Alb. With his marble spheres he shows the hidden geological diversity of the Swabian Alb.
The Town Guide
When she puts on her costume Sandra Linsenmayer becomes „Marga the market woman“. By her own account Marga is more than 500 years old and when she goes for a walk in Münsingen in the middle of the biosphere reserve she tells many stories from the town’s history.
Rolf Geigle did not want to part with the beehives of his father, although he did not know much about beekeeping at first. From the around 70-year-old beekeeping house in his garden in Hengen the bees fly out to trees and plants in the biosphere reserve produzing more than just honey.
Wool and meat are not the main products from sheep anymore. „Sheep take care of the landscape“, says Melanie Dangel. The herds of sheep from 16 sheep farmes hold the area of the former military training ground in the middle of the biosphere reserve open.
The Basket Maker
Monika Frischknecht makes baskets, decorative elements and fences as screening walls out of willow that she plants on her own willow fields in the biosphere reserve. She hopes that the biosphere thought will also increase the appreciation for local resources and crafts.
The Alb-Archeologists Part 1: Inge Löw
„If you are sitting on cultural assets like these, you just have to participate“, says Inge Löw. With the archeological group in Erkenbrechtsweiler she searches for evidence from past times and with the Celtic group she brings the historical oppidum “Riusiava” back to life.
The Alb-Archeologists Part 2: Franz Weiss
Archeologists are people who studied archeology, one might think. However there are also people who gained an extensive knowledge about history and archeological methods for years and decades in their spare time and who pass on this knowledge to other historically interested people. Franz Weiss is such a self-taught archeologist and leads the archeological group in Erkenbrechtsweiler. If neccessary he also does rescue excavation together with other volunteer archeologists if so the excavation does not delay a company’s demolition and construction plan and at the same time rescues the silent witnesses of the past, which would be lost without the volunteers’ commitment.