Baumschutzinitiative Hannover

(c) 1993 Verlagsgesellschaft Madsack

  Datum=15.08.1996; Quelle=HAZ; Ressort=STAN;
  NORDSTADT / Field and Forest Guard Julia Hamann takes the initiative for tree protection - mainly in the Georgengarten

From her balcony, she overlooks her beat

Julia Hamann has a heart for trees. “They cannot scream or run away” the 51-year-old stresses, “and somebody has to care for them, don’t they?” For 18 months now, she can even flash her license when she catches somebody doing mischief to the environment in the Georgengarten: Julia  Hamann is one of about 40 field and forest guards in Hanover who on behalf of the city administration keep an open eye for the green areas in the municipality.

The range of tasks for the honorary civil servants is a broad one: people who climb trees or street lamps, step on frozen lakes not yet opened, or simply tears leaves of bushes, must be aware that they are watched by a field and forest guard, who in severe cases are entitled to report the culprits to the police. Julia Hamann’s “beat” is the Georgengarten. “But I cannot be everywhere”, the field and forest guard admits. “If, for instance, I would talk to everyone who is having a non-permitted barbecue in the Georgengarten, I would be rotating when the weather is fine.” Thus, she only interferes if people do their barbecues below trees and the smoke damages the foliage.

This because trees are Julia Hamann’s hobbyhorse: 22 years ago, when she was still working as technical assistant for Hanover University, she acted on behalf  of the trees in the Nordstadt for the first time. “A birch tree in the street Am Kleinen Felde was to be cut down”, Julia Hamann reminisces; “this I could prevent through my protest, and the tree is still there today.” Living in early retirement, she has more time to care for her charges today, which she can at all times overlook from the balcony of her flat in Nienburger Street.
She can already look back to a string of successes. For example, after parts of the University had moved into the Continental skyscraper, cars were always parking on the root areas. “I succeeded to make the city administration to erect bollards”, the tree lover tells proudly. However, Julia Hamann does not always meet understanding with her actions. In early summer, for instance, she asked the construction workers in front of the   Wilhelm-Busch-Museum to inform her when the road construction between particularly old and protection-worthy trees would begin. “I was given a wrong date, and when I happened to come to the site some days later, I could do nothing but collect damaged roots.” These exhibits, which she put under one of the workers’ wagons, vanished in an for her inexplicable way.

As honorary field and forest guard, Julia Hamann does not only care for the well-being of the trees: “If somebody in misguided animal care feeds the birds, or if somebody washes their car in the street, I speak to them,” she tells. “Unfortunately, most people react rather aggressively.” Yet, she is not the type to threaten pollutionists with punishment. A report to the police is the wrong way: “That would only mean administration of the damage.” She rather talks with the people, trying to make them understand how what they do damages the environment.
Julia Hamann would like that there was more exchange of experiences with the other field and forest guards in Hanover. Currently, they only meet once a year to discuss the “plan of action” for the bonfires at Easter. “We watch out that the brushwood has actually been re-stacked before the fire is kindled.” Now our field and forest guard is looking for cahoots who are just as interested in the well-being of the trees as she herself is: for that purpose, she now has founded an initiative for tree protection. fri

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