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11 Wasteland teeming with life

Excess soil from urban construction has been transported here, creating a layer many metres thick. This area has since been used as a sports field, as a dog park and as a dumping ground for snow in winter. Today it is dominated by lush meadow plants.

This apparent wasteland of weeds is actually very rich in nature. The soil that has been transported from elsewhere contains the seeds of many plants, and additional seeds are brought here by animals and the wind. Meadow plants support butterflies, hymenoptera such as bees and wasps, and many other insects that are needed to transport pollen. Insects in turn attract insectivores. Throughout the summer the meadow is abuzz with activity. In wintertime, flocks of birds come to the meadow in search of the seeds that have dropped from the plants.

If wasteland is left untouched for a long time, it will gradually become overgrown with shrubs and trees. The groundcover plants will diminish, and the forest will take over. This process is known as natural succession.

Pollinating insects carry pollen from one flower to another like a package that is delivered door to door. Plants that are pollinated by insects require very little pollen as a result. In contrast, plants that are pollinated by the wind produce enormous quantities of pollen in the hope that some of this mass distribution will find the right address.