Nature park

A nature park (plural: natural parks, nature parks, nature parks in Switzerland ) is a private, incurred by long-term exposure, benefits and farming landscape space. This valuable cultural landscape should be preserved in its present form and marketed simultaneously touristy.

Nature parks are in most states a legally regulated area protection, which is part of nature conservation law.

  • 3.1 4-column model of Austrian Nature Parks
  • 3.2 Association of Austrian Nature Parks ( VNÖ )
  • 3.3 List of nature parks in Austria

International Natural Park

As the first international natural park in Europe today Pieniny National Park was established jointly by Poland and Slovakia in 1932.

  • European Nature Parks: States Cross plans and actions are pursued under Europarc.
  • Protected Area Network of Parks ( PANPark ) certifications are aligned by the initiated by the WWF network which a combination of wilderness concept and tourist offer


The Nature Park is one of the possibilities of the area-based conservation, the provides the Federal Nature Conservation Act today ( Federal Nature Conservation Act ). The conservationist and entrepreneur Alfred Toepfer presented on 6 June 1956 in the former German capital Bonn at the annual meeting of the Association Conservation park developed by the club together with the Central Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management and other institutions program to set up (initially) 25 natural parks in West Germany (in the presence of Federal President Theodor Heuss and Federal Minister Heinrich Lübke ). Five percent of the area of the old Federal Republic should be spared major damage.

Definition of nature parks in Germany

The definition of the category Nature Park is carried out by federal law ( § 27 Federal Nature Conservation Act ). Details, especially regarding the reporting, detection or recognition as a nature park, vary in the different states according to the local conservation law. In § 27 Federal Nature Conservation Act specifies that a uniform Natural Park to be developed and are to be maintained, large areas and predominant surface landscape or nature conservation areas, have a high species and habitat diversity and shaped by multiple uses landscape.

In a natural park environmentally sustainable land use is sought, and they shall be suitable for its natural conditions especially for recreation and sustainable tourism.

The underlying idea is a conservation through use, therefore the acceptance and participation of the population in the protection of natural and cultural landscape is very important. The protection of nature and the needs of recreation seekers should be linked so that both sides benefit: sustainable tourism with respect for the value of nature and landscape in the foreground.

Basically here all actions, interventions and projects are prohibited, contrary to the protective purpose.

Nature parks are to be considered in land use planning and must be presented and considered in development plans. One speaks here of a memorandum takeover. They are binding and can not be overcome in the weighing about because of an overriding public interest.

The support of national parks are often associations or municipal special-purpose associations.

The German nature parks are summarized in the Association of German Nature Parks.

There are 101 natural parks (March 2009) In Germany, representing about 25 % of the country's land. They represent an important component in conservation and help to maintain the natural beauty, cultural landscapes and rare species and habitats and to make it accessible also to future generations. A complete list of areas with short description can be found in the list of nature parks in Germany.

Year of Natural Parks

The year 2006 was declared the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Natural Park of the year idea of nature parks. Federal President Horst Köhler took over for the patronage. The year was themed Natural Nature Parks.


Currently, there are 48 natural parks in Austria with a total area of about 500,000 ha (April 2010 ). They are visited annually by approximately 20 million interested people. The predicate Nature Park is awarded by the respective state governments. To achieve this award, the four pillars of a nature park to be met.

4-column model of Austrian Nature Parks

The Austrian Nature Parks have to fulfill four functions - protection, recreation, education and regional development. The challenge - and important in the sense of distinction to other regions at the same time - is equal to develop these functions together.

Protection: The objective is to safeguard the natural environment through sustainable use in its variety and beauty and to preserve the cultural landscape shaped by centuries by:

  • Visitor management
  • Natural history information
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Protected area management
  • Research Projects
  • Contract conservation

Recreation: The aim is to offer the conservation area and the landscape character in accordance with attractive and well-maintained recreational facilities by:

  • Trails
  • Cycling and riding trails
  • Roosting and resting places
  • Near-natural adventure playgrounds
  • Family friendliness and accessibility
  • Healthy air and rest

Education: The objective is to make experience through interactive forms of Naturbegreifens and experience nature, culture and their interrelationships within the meaning of education for sustainable development:

  • Theme trails
  • Adventure tours
  • Information centers
  • Information materials
  • Nature Park schools
  • Nature Park Kindergartens
  • Targeted Offers
  • Seminars, courses, exhibitions
  • Traditional customs

Regional Development: The objective is to set about the park impetus for regional development in order to increase the added value and to secure the quality of life of the population through:

  • Cooperation conservation, agriculture, tourism, commerce and culture
  • Jobs by Nature Parks
  • Socially and environmentally friendly tourism
  • Natural Park of products according to defined criteria
  • Nature Park and Catering

Association of Austrian Nature Parks ( VNÖ )

1995, all Austrian Nature Parks joined the " Association of Austrian Nature Parks ( VNÖ ) " as a common interest group together. Under the auspices of this association, the nature parks since then develop together to model regions for sustainable development. The main objective of the association is an Austria wide coordinated development of the natural park idea.

The primary responsibilities of VNÖ:

  • Representation of the Austrian Nature Parks
  • Implementation of joint marketing activities
  • Establishment of an information center for general inquiries as well as for the press
  • Organization of different events
  • Implementation of training and qualification measures
  • Implementation of employment projects
  • Implementation of model projects
  • Establishment of National and international collaborations

List of nature parks in Austria

  • Burgenland: Posted stone Írottkő
  • Landseer Berge
  • Raab - Őrség - Goricko
  • Weinidylle
  • Fertő / Neusiedler See
  • Rosalia Kogelberg
  • Carinthia Dobratsch
  • Weissensee
  • Lower Austria: Blockheide - Eibenstein - Gmünd
  • Book mountain
  • Doberman mountain Thaya Valley
  • Oakwood
  • Eisenwurzen northeast
  • Falkenstein Schwarzau in the mountains
  • Föhrenberge
  • Geras
  • Heidenreich Moor
  • Raised bog Schrems
  • Hohe Wand
  • Jauerling -Wachau
  • Kamp -Schönberg
  • Leiserberge
  • Manner Village Desert
  • Nordwald Bad Großpertholz
  • Oetscher - Tormäuer
  • Sandstone Wienerwald
  • Seebenstein - Türkensturz
  • Sierningtal - Flatzer wall
  • Sparbach (oldest nature park since 1962)
  • Upper Austria: Attersee- Traunsee
  • Upper Austria
  • Fruit Hill Country
  • Salzburg Book mountain
  • Riedingtal
  • Weissbach
  • Styria: Almenland
  • Mürzer Oberland
  • Pöllauer valley
  • Sölktäler
  • Styrian Eisenwurzen
  • Styrian Wine Country
  • Zirbitzkogel -Grebenzen
  • Tirol Karwendel Mountains ( Alpine Park )
  • Kaunergrat ( Pitztal- Kaunertal )
  • Ötztal
  • Tyrol's Lech Valley
  • Zillertal Alps

The cross-border Vorarlberg Nagelfluhkette National Park is not a natural law instrument, but communal commitment, and therefore not a member of the VNÖ.

Switzerland: regional nature parks

In Switzerland, the establishment of a Regional Natural Park by the Federal Law on Nature and Cultural Heritage (NCHA ) is regulated by law. Regional nature parks are one of three categories defined by the NCHA. In addition, national parks and nature parks are provided. These two types of park provide strict protection zones in the park, while such core areas do not exist in a Regional Natural Park. The latter focus rather on the equal promotion of nature conservation and regional economy. In the Ordinance on Parks of National Importance ( Parks Ordinance, PäV ) of the Federal contain more detailed provisions, such as in Article 20: To preserve and enhance the quality of nature and landscape are in the Regional Natural Park: [ ... ] d existing impairments to reduce the landscape and townscape of buildings, facilities and uses at the opportunity presented itself or to fix.

Since the NHG was revised accordingly in 2007, there are in Switzerland hardly regional nature parks. Affected cantons can make a change in the law that allows the formation of a natural park because of their canton sovereignty. Subsequently, the town meeting may vote by virtue of their communal autonomy over a possible accession of a municipality to a park club and therefore a natural park. In the statutes of the Park clubs no democratic participation is provided by the voters of the municipalities. Membership in the park association is minimum term of ten years.

Since August 2010 there were three parks with the label of " regional nature park of national importance":

  • The Regional Natural Park Thal
  • The UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch
  • The Biosphere Val Müstair

A number of other projects have been awarded the label " candidacy " and strive to park label. A list of areas with short description can be found in Article park of national importance.


South Tyrol has seven nature parks and share in a National Park

  • Sciliar Garden
  • Texelgruppe
  • Puez
  • Fanes -Senes- Prague
  • Monte Corno
  • Three Peaks
  • Rieser Ahrn
  • Stelvio (National Park)


In France, the parc naturel régional hot natural parks. In the border area ( to Germany and Switzerland ), in Alsace and Lorraine, there are three of them, two in the central mountains of the Vosges: the Regional Natural Park of Ballons des Vosges with the High Vosges ( Ballon ) in the center and in the northern Vosges the Regional Natural Park of Vosges du North, which extends to the German border ( Rhineland -Palatinate ) and there connects to the same nature to the Geology German Palatinate Forest Nature Park, with which it was combined to form a transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest -Vosges du Nord 1998. The third, the Regional Natural Park of Lorraine, located in the center of Lorraine, in the region of Lorraine Lakes ( pays des étangs ) is within the range of the traditional location of the language border to the part in the department of Moselle.

In addition, French natural areas and landscapes were of European importance in regional natural parks such as the Camargue and the Alpilles in Provence, the course of the Verdon in the Provence Alps, the volcanoes of Auvergne and the Ardèche in the Massif Central, the Corsican high mountains or cliffs, forests and Gentiles in the interior of Western Brittany ( Aremorika ).

See also: List of regional natural parks in France


In Croatia there are a total of eight national parks and ten nature parks. Under natural park protection, the following areas:

  • Biokovo
  • Kopački rit
  • Lonjsko polje
  • Medvednica
  • Papuk
  • Telašcica
  • Učka
  • Velebit
  • Vrana
  • Žumberak - Samoborsko gorje


In Slovenia, we group under the law for Conservation of Nature in 1999 under the term nature park ' (Slovenian zavarovani park ) " large protected areas" together (Art. 67). This includes 44 areas:

  • Triglav National Park ( park narodni Article 69, the only National Park in Slovenia )
  • The three regional parks ( park regijski Article 70; Regional Park Škocjan, Kozjansko Park, Regional Park Inner Carniola )
  • 40 landscape parks ( Krajinski park Art. 71)


  • Posted stone Írottkő (cross-border with Burgenland)
  • Nature Park Vertes (since 27 October 2005)
  • Nature Park Sokoró - Pannontáj (since 1 April 2006)
  • Nature Park Cserhát ( Since: October 22, 2009 )
  • Nature Park Szatmár-Bereg ( Since: 17 January 2010)

There was no qualification:

  • Raab Örseg - Goricko (cross-border with Burgenland)
  • Nature Park Ipolymente - Borzsony
  • Nature Park Kerkamente
  • Nature Park Körösök Völgye
  • Nature Park Nagy- Milic
  • Nature Park Sopron Mountains
  • Nature Park Ráckevei Kis- Duna.

Other countries

  • Nature Park of the Upper Auer, Luxembourg
  • Parc Natural dels Ports, Spain
  • Romania: see National Parks in Romania: Nature Parks