FOJANA – A Piece of Nature
In the heathland of Lower Saxony, not far from the town of Unterlüß, is the site where Rheinmetall tests its vehicles, weapons and munitions. Today the company's own proving grounds cover a total area of around 55 square kilometers, of which nearly ninety percent is used for forestry operations.
The cornerstone for professional forestry was laid at the Unterlüß firing range around eighty years ago. In 1928, the first forester was put in charge. He founded a tradition which has continued up to the present day by shaping and managing the area in the interests of retaining the typical, primordial character of the countryside, as well as the flora and fauna. Today, Rheinmetall looks with pride upon a place that is in a class all its own. By thus actively engaging in nature conservation, Rheinmetall tops off its commitment to the region, where its more than 1,100 jobs make it the largest employer next to the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces.
The result of this commitment is an unusually opulent world of plants which in turn draws a rare diversity of insects and birds while in addition offering a habitat to a large population of wild animals. More and more species are taking up their abode here thanks to the protection the restricted zone offers them – the most stringent security regulations prevail on the firing range. Moreover, observations here have proven that the thundering cannons do not frighten the animals. The only disturbance to the tranquility of this paradise is caused by hunting, only allowed at specified times. However, it plays an important part in helping to keep the species in their proper balance. And although it is run according to the strict rules of integrated nature conservation, the company's forestry business is still in the black.