The construction of ski slopes and road embankments and the establishment of excavation areas causes environmental damage to many regions of Europe. The general objective of SURE is to put basic strategies into practise that guarantee ecological and sustainable restoration or rehabilitation of such sites. Sustainable rehabilitation and restoration of ski slopes, road embankments and opencast mining areas should lead to an appealing landscape with satisfying ecological value, especially through enhancing quality of life for people living in the concerned regions. Pilot projects reveal best practice methods of rehabilitation and restoration. The research conducted in the pilot area focuses on indicators that allow the expected increase of ecological value to be measured through ecologically-sound rehabilitation metrics. Through constant monitoring of economic and ecological parameters, the data gained from the pilot projects will convince local decision-makers to put the improved know-how into practice. To ensure that territorial operators and technicians of land rehabilitation receive up-to-date information, training activities will be organised according to the three main objectives: - Restoration of endangered and destroyed high altitude slopes in mountainous regions, - Rehabilitation of degraded embankments and slopes caused by improvements in infrastructure measurements, - Restoration of areas devastated by coal and other ores excavation.
So far all eleven planned trial sites have been set up. The data is currently being assessed and analysed. Some results have already been presented at conferences. The book "Site-specific high zone restoration in the alpine region - the current technological developments" was published. It presents the current state-of-the-art and latest achievements in the field of ecological restoration, which were also demonstrated within the framework of the project. It contains a German, English, French and Italian version of the content. Moreover, the Hochschule Anhalt published a handbook covering the ecological restoration of raw soils entitled "Handbuch naturnahe Begrünung von Rohböden" in German. The book gives advice on restoration projects which deal with extreme soil conditions, for example related to nutrient or water availability. A bibliography on the three main objectives of the project was compiled and five open workshops, including three conferences, were held at the partners’ locations. The final conference "Soil-Bioengineering: Ecological Restoration with Native Plant and Seed Material" took place on 5-7 September 2006 in Irdning (Styria, Austria), organised by the Lead Partner. For this purpose a new website was set up (http://www.restoration06.net). A detailed program can still be downloaded from the website. Immediately after the conference, the Lead Partner organised the last workshop of the project on 8-9 September 2006, the topic was "Restoration after infrastructural interventions". A detailed program can also be downloaded from the above-mentioned website.