The S4 project plans include a host of measures designed to protect nature. Also known as "avoidance measures", they have a host of applications and are above all designed to ensure that our construction work does not disturb or damage the existing environment. Everything in nature is interlinked. As a result, our protective measures can develop synergy effects because one specific activity can have a positive impact on several environmental features.
Our construction plans already include the avoidance measures described here, and we will apply these solutions throughout the entire project. Our environmental supervision experts will monitor our protection goals during the S4's construction. They will also specify the details of each measure so we achieve results that are professional, practical and environmentally sound.
We check sites that animals might select as their winter homes (e.g. tree hollows) and create replacements if any such sites are lost during building work.
When making space for a building site, we clear plants and trees only between October and February, when they are dormant for the winter and no animals use them as breeding sites.
Bats' flight paths
We take bats' flight paths into account when designing the layout of our construction sites, or we change the lighting at a site if necessary.
Protection for amphibians
We check the area around our building sites to see if any amphibians live there. If so, we have several ways of protecting them – for example, we build fences that keep them at a safe distance from where we are working.
If plants on the EU's red list of endangered species are likely to be present in a given area, we conduct a survey to find them. If we locate any, our conservation measures come into play.
We keep plant life from harm by placing protective guards around trees and installing fences where necessary. In addition, we monitor the trees' health throughout the entire construction phase.
Openings for little creatures
Noise barriers have openings for small animals approximately every ten metres. This enables populations on both sides of the line to mix and mate, which is good for their genetics.
Noise barriers and vistas
Noise barriers are important and useful, but they can also be restrictive, particularly if they exceed a certain height. This can impede people's view of their surroundings by making it hard to see important buildings, much-loved landmarks and the features in the landscape. The use of design elements in noise barriers is one way of alleviating this problem.
Recreating wooded areas
Some construction measures require us to cut down trees (with official authorisation). During the S4's first construction phase, this will happen at Wandsbeker Gehölz, a small park in eastern Hamburg. To compensate for the lost trees, we will replant new trees and bushes on some 1,800 square metres of the park once building work finishes. In addition, we donated some of the felled trees to the Marienthal primary school, which used them as an addition to its nature-themed playground.