Sophie speaks the language of cattle and protects the swamps

Sophie speaks the language of cattle and protects the swamps

In fact, Sophie Uble knows nothing about cattle. At least that’s what she says. It’s hard to believe when you see a 28 year old in the pasture with Wanda. Scottish highland cattle with long brown fur and mighty horns allow themselves to relax on their side. Sophie has to scratch her belly. “Animals show me exactly what they want and need,” the young woman explains with a smile. She is the second chairman of the “Liether Moor Extensive Cattle Breeding Association” in Klein Nordende (Pinneberg district). An initiative that takes care of the conservation of swamps and biodiversity with the help of cattle.

Sophie has always liked big animals. Especially cows. Kind, trusting, easy to read animals with a great need for love – find them. During parental leave, Sophie worked on a dairy farm. Milk once a week. It was her balance. Back then, her love for cattle made her move to the countryside. At least partially.


Sophie has lived in big cities for many years. While studying in Frankfurt am Main, then in St. Georg for the last few years. She liked city life. However, her husband is from Klein Nordende and wanted to live with her there. When Sophie saw the Scottish Highland cattle in the neighborhood, she wanted to get involved. She moved and joined the club three years ago.

An initiative in the Pinneberg district takes care of the preservation of the Litersky heath.

Soon after, she got her own cow. The mother-in-law treated her and her husband to beef for the wedding. Mona is a trusting, gentle animal. Who will have a calf in the coming days. A total of five babies are expected. There are already three. The club began its activities twelve years ago with eight Scottish Highlands that do not need special care and can spend the whole year outside. There are currently 33 cattle (all with names) and about 30 ha of leased land.

Enhancer: Willow
The bark beetle and the storm destroyed the forest in the pasture.

Cattle protect the swamps by simply living on pastures. “By biting and kicking, they keep the landscape open and make sure that the swamp does not overgrow and overgrow,” explains the mother of a young son. The point is to leave nature alone so that it can develop on its own. It also increases species diversity. “Over the years, pairs of lapwings, gray herons and a stork have settled,” the assistant proudly reports. She sits in gray work pants on a bench in front of the “club house” – a construction trailer, which the participants dubbed their “cow school”. Among other things, projects for kindergartens and schools are offered here.

The number is adjusted once a year

Once a year it gets tough when the population has to be regulated. The first chairman, Volker Mörke (64), is in charge of choosing which animal will go to the slaughter. Not an easy task for him. “We left the animals with their mother for at least six months, they were in nature for three years. We cannot do more good for them,” he says. However, cattle are only slaughtered when they are all sold. The proceeds go to the association.

This is sad for Sophie, but there is no other way. A woman who works as a corporate development manager for a software company works on a project for at least 15 hours a month. Often more. Like this week. She has a pasture duty. This means that she has to look after the cattle every day for seven days. The duty officer counts the animals, sees if they feel well, whether they have enough food and water, checks the fences. “It takes a very long time. At the moment my turn is every four weeks at pasture maintenance. It’s pretty hard.”

Too few members in the club

However, this cannot be changed at the moment because the association has too few members and 70 – mostly inactive – campaign comrades. “We are urgently looking for active and passive members. Especially young people,” says Sophie.

The woman loves to work with animals. She remembers one moment in particular. It was the best and the worst at the same time. Last year, she discovered a cow that stood to the side and was nervous while grazing. As Sophie approached, the animal moved forward. To caviar. He was dead in the grass. “My mother took me there. It was so touching.” She only cried for a few days. The fact that she was allowed to carry a dead animal from the pasture in front of her mother was also a great sign of trust.

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Sophie is driven by more than just bonding with livestock. Also for nature. How much am I abusing resources? How much do I take and how much can I get back? These are the questions that concern them. And what, in her opinion, everyone should face. For Sophie, this project is a great example of sustainability in action. Conservation is being done by cattle, which have been criticized for their CO₂ emissions. “It’s about linking circumstances to ultimately do something positive for nature.” Sophie believes that we all urgently need to give more than we take. It’s time.

Profile of Sophie Ubl (28)

Second Chairman of the Association of Extensive Strong Cattle Breeding Leeter Moore

car or bicycle? Unfortunately the car. I live in a village and I have an electric car.

beer or wine? Beer. I can stick a bottle in my work pants. Wine cannot be sold in the pasture.

Schnitzel or veggie burger? I often choose veggie burgers just for fun. I really like them.

child or pet? Both. Son and three cats.

North Sea or New York? The North Sea, I go there often. I’ve never been to New York, it doesn’t appeal to me either.

Kiez Club or Elphi? district club. I don’t go to dances, but I like to go to concerts in my neighborhood.

Heavy metal or classical? Then more classical. I don’t like heavy metal at all. I can’t relax about this.

Yoga or gym? Both are not. There is enough sport in my work with cattle.

Cattle need pasture with forest

Good deeds deserve support. With the Die Bessermacher campaign, we don’t just want to show dedicated people. Projects also receive financial assistance and long-term support.

Strong cattle need a new natural shelter. For ten years, the animals used the pasture with the forest. There are no more trees – storms and bark beetles have taken care of that. Therefore, together with the care association Liether Moor, a new area must be created. Haspa takes over funding from Haspa LotterieSparen grants.

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Haspa in Uetersen provides support as a branch sponsor. “Cattle keeps the swamp in balance. We hope that the project will continue to develop and become more famous,” says branch manager Olaf Pollak. You can see how the help has progressed in the Better-Maker review. MOPO is watching for updates and informs!

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