A safe Home for Bats: DSI Schaum Chemie stabilizes Nature Reserve in Poland
One of the products of DSI Schaum Chemie, Poland, has found an interesting application; namely in securing and stabilizing the Szachownica Cave, which is one of the most important winter habitats for bats in Poland. The cave is located in limestone rock of the Kraków-Wielun Upland. It represents an interesting and rare cave system, different from other caves that occur in this area.
At the site where a limestone quarry was operated for several decades until 1962, this rare cave system was accidentally discovered. The lime exploitation and changes in the prevailing conditions led to the partial destruction of the cave system. The main problem was the destruction process of the main cave floor, which was artificially enlarged during limestone exploitation. An intense erosion process, frequent rock falls and a partial degradation of the rock mass in the cave were observed.
Due to the presence of rare varieties of animals, a geological nature reserve was established in the area and named Szachownica (Chessboard). The protection of the cave biotope that included four different species of bats that regularly winter here was the first priority. Altogether, 11 species of flying predators – more than 2,000 specimens –have found shelter in the Szachownica Cave.
Since the bats are protected by EU law and it is of great importance to maintain their population, a project aimed at protecting the biotope was implemented. The protective measures are based on an expert study for which laboratory tests of the limestone and a stability analysis of the corridors and halls of the cave were carried out.
To ensure the security of the animals wintering in the cave, stabilization work was carried out during the summer months, i.e. from June to September. In the first stage, the roof was temporarily protected with pillars located in the areas with the greatest risk of caving accidents.
Then, the dense network of cracks in the roof was filled and glued using more than 87,000kg of the two-component organic mineral adhesive VERPENSIN® produced by DSI Schaum Chemie. This product has an excellent compatibility with this type of rock and does not have any adverse impact on the animals.
Apart from gluing, truss and mesh linings were also installed. Naturalists monitored all the work, and the requirements for the injection agent, the truss components and all other types of measures were very stringent. Following the work inside the cave, a stabilization of the cave opening was completed.
The cave is not open to tourists. The measures helped to preserve this important habitat for the bats.