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10 The latest news from the Nature Park

10.2.1 Steinhude

The Nature Park Information Centre in Steinhude

The Nature Park Information Centre can be found on the far side of Lake Steinhude in the fisherman’s village of Steinhude. The building is part of the "Barn Quarter", a listed ensemble of timbered houses. An interactive exhibition shows the fascinating world of flora and fauna in the bog and the EU Meerbruch bird protection area. The virtual boat trip over Lake Steinhude is a very special experience – not only in bad weather. Here you can also get current tips for excursions. Groups can book film shows and individual tours.

Naturpark Infozentrum, Am Graben 3-4, 31515 Steinhude

Tel.: 05033 / 939 134, www.naturpark-steinhuder-meer.de

10.2.2 Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers in the Lake Steinhude Nature Park: a successful environmental education project

"Become a Junior Ranger!" In August 2014 this five-day holiday action in the Grinderwald marked the start of a special environmental education and leisure project for children. Since then it has become a regular part of our programme: a fixed group of 14 children have met up every Saturday morning at the Forest Playground near Linsburg, the starting point for an adventurous outing.

The forest and environment educationalist Angélique Risopp tells the children all about nature on forest walks, with games and stories. Her creative and playful approach makes the children keener to learn about domestic flora and fauna.

10.2.3 ÖSSM

The Lake Steinhude Ecological Protection Station Society (ÖSSM)

Working in close collaboration with the respective nature protection authorities the society is dedicated to protecting, caring for and developing damp meadows and bogs around Lake Steinhude. In this way, thanks to the intensive efforts of the members, species like the tree frog and the European mink have made their homes here once again.

Guests can learn a lot about the local flora and fauna on tours and in the society’s centre, a 150-year-old former farmhouse in Winzlar. The Protection Station is also a meeting place. Every year the society stages a Farmers’ Festival with an ecological market.

Naturpark, www.naturpark-steinhuder-meer.de

ÖSSM, Hagenburger Straße 16, 31547 Rehburg-Loccum, Tel. 05037 / 96 70

www.oessm.org

10.2.4 The Ranger

The Nature Park Ranger

Hendrik Holte knows a lot about the Lake Steinhude Nature Park, because he’s on the move almost every day as a ranger. He is the person visitors can speak to when they’re here.

You can explore the Nature Park with him by bike or canoe. But his duties also include maintaining landing stages and observation towers. The ranger is also present on the water with his boat "Wasserläufer". He checks that people observe the ban on sailing during the winter period and the limits of the nature protection area.

The Winzlar Tower in the Meerbruch Meadow Bird Biotope is one of his favourite places.

10.2.5 The circular trail

The Lake Steinhude Circular Trail

The trail around Lower Saxony’s largest inland lake is 32 kilometres long. The cycle trail can offer a lot more than simply views of the lake. It also leads through forests, damp meadows and bogs. Along the way there are attractive viewing platforms and towers, and landing stages and observation huts beside the lake invite visitors to explore the natural world. Footpaths and boardwalks allow visitors to make brief detours.

You should not leave without visiting the fishing village of Steinhude, the Mardorf health resort, the former royal mansion in Hagenburg, not forgetting Winzlar where the Lake Steinhude Ecological Protection Station Society is based.

10.2.6 Conference

The Lake Steinhude Conference

Since 2011 the Lake Steinhude Ecological Protection Station has been presenting an annual conference every November. Now the one or two day event has established itself as a central information and meeting forum for the many different people active in the Nature Park. This is the time where people can get together for discussions and networking and decide on how to develop the Nature Park further.

Commonly acceptable feasible solutions to current problems are worked out in workshops. Previous themes of the conference include mobility and accessibility in the Nature Park, sustainable tourism and the Nature Park plan.

10.2.7 Parks Day

Parks Day

Parks Day is a Europe-wide action day for national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks. It was set up by the European umbrella organisation, the EUROPARC Federation, in order to stimulate more public interest in the duties and aims of large-scale protection areas.

Lake Steinhude Nature Park has been taking part in the Parks Day since 2001. It is now a tradition for the celebrations to be hosted in different places. Working alongside the relevant parishes and our cooperation partners we are able to present a colourful programme to make people more aware of the duties of the Nature Park and what it can offer.