Recreation close to nature
As the alienation of people in large cities and conurbations from the natural environment proceeds, the more the need for pure wild nature grows. In central Europe areas that are really genuinely natural have become rare. The picture of nature in the region is strongly influenced by that of the cultural landscape. Creating opportunities to experience at close hand untouched and wild nature that is not subject to human control or usage is therefore the aim of the national park.
In the national park visitors can observe all facets and stages of development in the natural dynamic of the forest – from the widespread dying off of old spruce trees between Rachel and Lusen through to areas of renewal in the relics of primeval forest in the “Mittelsteighütte” and “Höllbachgspreng”. While hiking along the experience trails (such as the Seelensteig), which have many opportunities for learning, these processes can be experienced vividly by visitors.
Educational work in the national park
With its fascinating natural environment the national park inevitably bases its educational work around an original natural experience. This is also an important basis for further work in the area of education for sustainable development. Indeed education for sustainable development is very much a part of environmental education in the national park; it’s not just about conveying the national park’s aims (“let nature be nature”) or the natural processes (“wilderness pedagogy”).
Our work embraces those educational processes that enable people to recognise and evaluate current and future global problems. Moreover it seeks to ensure that people can participate in developing and shaping steps that are necessary for current and future generations to access resources, which are required for fulfilling their needs.
The primary aim is to foster the skills that are needed to comprehend the complex links between the ecological, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development and in order to contribute to finding solutions for current and future problems. National parks are, moreover, locations that are highly suited for learning about global issues.
The worldwide protected area concept opens up a global perspective for mutual learning. One’s home national park is an anchor in a global network. Partnerships with other protected areas open up opportunities for the exchange of experience on differing approaches to the stewardship of nature and wilderness, and also questions relating to lifestyle.
In addition, conveying the natural, usage and cultural history of the national park region and its inhabitants constitutes an important task. Only so can the full range of topics be bridged: from the original landscape to changes as a result of human use through to newly developing wilderness.
A particular focus of educational activities in the national park is working with children and young people.
National Park Watch - Rangers
During your visit to the national park you will sooner or later on your hikes or biking tours encounter people in olive-green uniforms: employees of the National Park Watch, also called “Rangers”. They provide visitors with information and help them further if they have questions. In addition they make sure that the rules of the national park and the legal protection requirements are adhered to.
More than 25 such “Rangers” work in the national park. Most of them come from the region and after completing a professional qualification have successfully undergone a further course of study to become a qualified nature and landscape guide.
Nature knows no borders. In recognition of this the National Park Watch works closely with colleagues in the neighbouring Czech Šumava National Park.
In order to acquaint young people in the region as early as possible with the tasks and aims of the national park, as well as the diverse opportunities it offers, the National Park Watch has organised an annual junior ranger project each year since 1998.
Contact details for the National Park Watch:
Tel. Mon - Fri in summer from 08:00 – 19:00 on +49 (0)8558 972980
Tel. Mon - Fri in winter from 08:00 - 16:00 on +49 (0)8558 972980
Tel. Weekends: +49 (0)8558 972 9823