Rotating cows outside of Frankfurt on the Main
Nature and city meet at the “RheinMain” regional park route in Eschborn. The latest project “die Rinderwiesen” (the cattle meadows) was launched last year. The ecologically upgraded area stretches over about 12 hectares. Paths were restored and a strip of woodland consisting of trees and native woody plants has been created. Two paths lead through the «cattle meadows» and connect two attractions. The main attraction is a giant carousel with a diameter of eight meters. As of now, it is the largest known carousel in a public playground. On the carousel sit four large SIK-Holz® made sculptures of domestic cattle which watch their peers and passing visitors with their big eyes. Of course, they in particular invite children to climb on and to spin round with them. From the cattle carousel, a path leads to a vantage point which allows a view to the open countryside, the Taunus Mountains and the skyline of Frankfurt on the Main. Both areas are outfitted with large wooden hay bales, which invite to sit and climb depending on their arrangement.
The cattle carousel can accommodate a maximum of 50 persons and can bear a total load of maximum 4 tons. This is not obvious when looking at the upper part of the carousel. The essentials are below ground. By means of the drive wheel on the platform, gears are put into operation under the ground, which in turn drive a rotating assembly. A two meters deep and 40 cm strong ring foundation was created for the support of the carousel. The foundation is finished with an EPDM covering, which is level with the platform to ensure wheelchair accessibility. A true masterpiece made possible by the SIK-Holz® service technicians’ precision work.
In addition to the artistic and technical efforts demanded by this project, it is also important to note the history of the material used. The cattle and straw bales were carved from oaks with a stately age of about 285 years. They come from the Oderbruch region, which was ameliorated between 1718 and 1782 under the Prussian kings. Around 1,000,000 hectares of land were created for about 300,000 settlers.
Right from the start, a sustainable forest management was of great importance. The low water level allowed the oaks to form flat roots. Because of the rapidly sinking groundwater level in the last 50 years, resulting from extensive farming and irrigation, the old oaks could no longer adapt to changing environmental conditions by forming deep roots. They have not survived the German Reunification and dried out while still standing.
Fortunate for the wood cattle, though. Through good cooperation between East and West, the old oaks were revived and found a new home in Eschborn.
The project «Cattle Carousel» was a major challenge. We would like to thank all employees and partners who have committed themselves to this project and also the city of Eschborn, as well as «Büro Beuerlein und Baumgartner» for the trust they have shown.