«minipic» biodiversity hotspot 

Tradition and innovation.
Business and nature in perfect harmony.

We have not just addressed environmental concerns since the most recent intensification of the climate debate, but in fact we had already started doing so in the late 1990s. In 1996, we extensively renovated our company in Churwalden and replaced all the infrastructure from the heating to the ventilation and air conditioning to the electrical and sanitary installations. We also installed a heat recovery system, which distributes the heat in optimal fashion, as well as two central cooling systems, which have minimal energy consumption.

Natural park with honors in Churwalden

In 2002, we started to enhance our company premises in Churwalden by adding ecological features. We now only have the meadow on our property mown twice a year, and ever since we have been able to enjoy a wide variety of flowers and rare plants, which have taken root again. Native bushes and trees are growing on the embankment which borders the meadow, providing a habitat for birds, hedgehogs, rabbits and foxes. In the biotope that we have set up, amphibians spawn and insects buzz over the water. Our ecologically designed premises, which currently extend over an area of 11,850 square metres, meet the quality criteria of the Stiftung Natur & Wirtschaft (Nature & Business Foundation) and have been awarded the ‘national park’ label by it. We are absolutely delighted about this achievement.


Biotope in spring

Biotope landscape with rare plants and animals

Our commitment to the environment was even greater in relation to the new building which opened in Landquart in 2010. On the premises behind the factory building, we cooperated with cantonal authorities and environmental organisations to set up a biotope landscape in an area of over 2,000 square metres. It is a space for biodiversity, a valuable habitat between Prättigau and the Alpine Rhine. Seven small ponds, two bee hotels, areas for scrap wood, over a dozen native bush varieties and fallow areas provide amphibians, reptiles and mammals with food and shelter.


Biotope in winter

The richness of blossoms and flowers attracts various insects. We are especially glad about the diversity of species when it comes to dragonflies, bees and wasps.

Download the protocol of entomological observations of vermin and dragonflies.

Image gallery animals

Bee hotel

Bee hotel

Sand bees entrance

Wall lizard

Plattbauch dragonfly

Large emperor dragonfly



The surrounding areas outside the built-up areas of the office building and the production area as well as the shipping center were designed close to nature with excavated material. The rainwater collected on the roof is summarized and fed into an open drainage system. On the eastern side of the building a natural biosphere was created to compensate for the engagement of the buildings by far.

Soon the first yellow-bellied toads?

The highly endangered dwarf reed mace, which used to be indigenous to the Rhine Valley, has been given a new habitat in our biotope. A small bog garden with sphagnum moss increases biodiversity, and we plan to plant a colony of Siberian iris, which is also a native plant of this region. We hope that we will soon catch a glimpse of the first yellow-bellied toads and smooth snakes in our biotope.

Update to mark minipic’s 50th anniversary

So much has happened in the meantime and quite a lot has been added. The first yellow-bellied toads were spotted around 2014. Now there are dozens every year, and just a few years ago in 2020, over 500 tadpoles were counted in a single summer – a record-breaking figure. Good luck, little toads!

Rosalia longicorn beetle (Rosalia alpina)
Rosalia longicorn beetle (Rosalia alpina)

A milestone in the minipic biotope landscape in Landquart

When creating the biotope landscape in Landquart, beech trunks were set up in the hope that the rare Alpine longhorn beetle (Rosalia alpina) would lay its eggs here one day. Now, 13 years later, our hopes have been fulfilled! On June 3, 2022, the Alpine longhorn beetle was discovered and photographed by the experienced entomologist Hansueli Tinner on one of the beech trunks that we had set up. The minipic team is happy to have contributed another piece of the puzzle for biodiversity.

Image gallery plants


Hoary Plantain embedded in white clover

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

Meadows Elecampane (Inula britannica)

Cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)

White clover (Trifolium repens)

Scabious knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa)

Genuine Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

Common bugloss (echium vulgare)

Meadows margerite (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Scabious knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa)

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

Oxeye (Buphthalmum salicifolium)

Ox tongue (Anchusa officinalis)

Lakeshore Bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus)

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Spiny restharrow (Ononis spinosa)


Noddy catchfly (Silene nutans)

Moor bedding

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Image gallery
Formation and development process

The biotope landscape was created by the Council for Nature and Environment BfNU (www.bfnu.ch). The BfNU is the oldest natural gardening company in Switzerland with 50 years of practical experience.