We are “Nine voices“ – a biomass processing facility
The primary scope of our work is nature conservation. By recycling late-cut grass from natural wetlands, which is no longer suitable for fodder, we maintain the unique habitats of Europe’s rarest songbird – the Aquatic warbler. Our small factory fills a missing gap of a self-sustaining, closed nature conservation system – we are ensuring that biomass will not accumulate in wetlands, which are now rare in Europe. In this way, we make sure that this habitat is protected.
We produce natural pellet products, consisting of reed, sedge and other wetland plants. The main product our factory produces is bedding for horses and other animals.
The raw material for our products comes from European protected Natura2000 territories, that are part of the Curonian Spit National and the Nemunas Delta Regional Parks. 99 % of the Lithuanian Aquatic Warbler population lives in these territories. We produce a part of the raw material ourselves, and we collect the other part from local environmentally friendly farms. Our products are fully natural – we do not use any supplements or additional materials, any chemicals. Most of our production goes to Scandinavian countries.
Our company is young, but it has assembled highly experienced staff that knows the production of grass products in-and-out. All the income we earn is used to sustain the biomass processing facility itself and to support nature conservation initiatives.
We established “Nine voices“ in 2018 in Lithuania, Dreverna during the EU LIFE project on Aquatic Warbler conservation “LIFE MagniDucatusAcrola”.
Production of raw material
All of the biomass used for products of “Nine voices” comes from natural habitats (fen mires and flooded meadows) in protected areas, where there isn’t any industrial activity. The grass is mowed once per year at the end of the season – in late August when juveniles of Aquatic Warblers and other birds are grown enough to run away from mowing machinery. Mowing is performed with special machinery that can work in wet conditions and that prevents the mat from being damaged. The cut grass is rolled up and transported to our nearby biomass factory. We check the biomass moisture, composition and other properties to ensure the highest quality.
The majority of the biomass consists of the natural vegetation of fenmires and flooded meadows, mostly – reeds.
Production and packaging
The production of “Nine voices” is fully automated. Grass rolls go in the processing line where the grass is shredded, treated with high temperature (to eliminate all bacteria and other unwanted elements) and then compressed into pellets. No binder is used, therefore pellets of “Nine voices” are fully natural. Afterwards, pellets go into special storage where they are refrigerated (to avoid mould) and then they are weighed and packaged.Our products
There are only a few places left in the world where you can still hear the melodic song of the Aquatic Warbler. It breeds in only 4 countries – Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania. The world population consists of only 11,000 singing males. The Aquatic Warbler is considered to be the rarest European songbird and it has the status of a globally threatened species. This bird is 20 times rarer than an African elephant.
Figuratively speaking, we are protecting not only one species but the whole neighbourhood. The Aquatic Warbler is a real habitat expert – if it is present, we know that the quality of the wetland is good. By creating a home for this rare bird, we create a safe area for its neighbours because species do not go extinct alone. Together with the Aquatic Warbler, Great Snipes, Common Redshanks, Citrine Wagtails, Spotted Crakes, Black-tailed Godwits a lot of other bird, plant, and animal species live in the wetlands. In these restored habitats geese migrating to Scandinavia and other northern countries find food and shelter.
Aquatic Warblers mostly disappear because of habitat loss - flooded meadows and fen mires. They are ploughed up, drained, or abandoned to grow up with shrubs. When protecting Aquatic Warblers naturalists restore habitat and try to ensure its constant maintenance: mowing at the right time and the removal of the remaining biomass from fields so the vegetation will not change. The biomass processing facility “Nine voices” has a very important role here. It becomes an integral part of a self-sustaining nature conservation system.
„Nine voices“ is an environmental business. Our mission is to enrich nature and create a mutually beneficial partnership among people, birds, and pets, which is cherished through our grass products.
Our biomass production facility solves the environmental problem: we maintain habitats that have almost disappeared in Europe – fen mires and flooded meadows, which are particularly rich in biodiversity. The Aquatic Warbler – a rare songbird that is very sensitive to its environment – has become a symbol of such habitats. It has inspired the name “Nine voices” so that when remembering the melodic song of the bird we think about the risk of losing it along with many other bird species. The Aquatic Warbler belongs to a bird family (Latin. Sylviidae), which in Lithuanian is called nine voicers (liet. devynbalsiais).
“Nine voices” recycles late-cut grass, which is no longer suitable for fodder, into a new product – “Hygge pellet”. Late mowing (in the second half of August) is needed for juveniles of both broods of the Aquatic Warbler to be safe. Only in August the birds form the second brood can get away from mowing machinery.
Late-cut grass turns woody, therefore, a huge amount of the remaining biomass unsuitable for fodder becomes a problem.
“Nine voices” solves this problem – we collect the grass and turn it into a new product. In this way, we promote Aquatic Warbler-friendly farming.
Environmentally friendly and socially responsible activity
„Nine voices” not only supports habitat and species conservation but also seeks to make the whole production process as friendly as possible for the environment and climate.
Growing the raw materials is a natural process: no artificial environments are created, no monoculture fields (that are harmful to biodiversity) are grown. On the contrary, rare, species-rich ecosystems are maintained, and no additional resources or chemicals are used as the natural fields do not require either to be watered or fertilized. Special modern equipment lowers the impact on the soil and environment.
100 % of the energy used in “Nine voices” production comes from renewable resources. Our products are 100 % biodegradable. After use they are suitable for field fertilizing or composting.
Moreover, “Nine voices” solves the problem of unemployment. Local people are working in our facility therefore, we are providing jobs in a remote area. We also support the local economy by buying biomass from small, local, environmentally friendly farms.