What is a Nature Park
Austrian Nature Parks -A diversity of landscapes
|The Nature Parks of Austria represent a diversity of characteristic landscapes, distinguished through their inviolacy, their natural and cultural highlights and a broad spread of possibilities to enjoy, experience and comprehend nature. Today there are 48 Nature Parks in Austria, covering an area altogether of 500.000 ha. Presently the geographical main focus lies in Eastern Austria in the provinces of Lower Austria, Styria and Burgenland, though the number of areas seeking to become a Nature Park is constantly rising.
What is a ‘Nature Park'?
|A Nature Park is a protected landscape that was created through the inter-action of people and nature. Very often these landscapes took many centuries to form into their current shape, and they thus need to be conserved and maintained by the people who live here. In Nature Parks this cultural landscape of special aesthetic appeal is opened up for the visitors through special arrangements and accessed as an area for recreation.
20 Million visitors every year
|Over 20 million guests every year visit the Nature Parks. The majority of whom are families living in urban regions. These people want not only to enjoy the recreation in such naturally beautiful landscapes but also want to experience nature and cultural oriented education and appreciate the variety of regional specialties in the Parks. This is seen by the increasing number of school groups, attending the holistic environmental education offers of the Nature Parks.
"Experience nature -comprehend nature"
|Following this motto visitors are encouraged to perceive their environment more consciously and therefore treat it in a more sensitive manner. For that process experience-oriented ways of knowledge transfer have an important role. The visitor experiences in a playful way the connection of landscape and culture in the respective regions. This happens for instance on nature trails, themed routes, at information points or through the experience of guided tours.
In future the Nature Parks also want to use multimedia information systems in order to increasingly catch the interest of young visitors with the amazing interactions of nature.
Title "Nature Park"
|The legal intent of a Nature Park is the protection of a landscape in connection with the use of the landscape. Especially valuable and characteristic landscapes are protected from destruction and development.
The appointing of a rural region with the title "Nature Park" happens through the provincial government and faces the region with the following challenges: