German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Experience Green Belt

Scarce copper (Lycaena virgaureae), an endangered species in Germany, sitting in front of a watchtower at the former intra-German border; poto: H. Schlumprecht
Photo of a Scarce Copper (Lycaena virgaureae), an endangered species in Germany, sitting in front of a watchtower at the former intra-German border; poto: H. Schlumprecht

To ensure that this element of Germany’s natural heritage is preserved over time, it is vital that people living in and visitors to the region are made aware of the Green Belt and its importance. By funding Experience Green Belt testing and development project, BfN makes a major contribution towards realising the Green Belt’s tourist potential in terms of nature, culture and history and hence also to enhancing its popular appreciation in the region.

In a preliminary study in 2005-2006, three model regions were selected, each of which is promoted with its own slogan:

Elbe – Altmark – Wendland: Grenzerfahrungen im Vierländereck (about experiencing former border territory spanning four different German states)

Harz: Harz ohne Grenzen – Auf Harzer Grenzwegen durch Natur und Geschichte (with the focus on natural and cultural history along the former east-west border through the Harz region)

Thüringer Wald and Schiefergebirge/Frankenwald: Das Grüne Band (inter)aktiv erleben (about actively and interactively experiencing the Green Belt in the Thuringian and Franconian forests)

Landscape management and tourism

Work completed in the three model regions between 2007 and 2010 established a range of landscape management measures, uniform signage along the entire stretch, specially marked cycle and walking paths, exhibitions and displays, information points depicting events along the former border, and specially developed nature-experience and tourism offerings. The aim was not only to overcome administrative barriers such as between district administrations and Länder governments, but also to erase the lines of division between those who work in nature conservation, agriculture, tourism and the upkeep of historical monuments.

Public relations work

Entry page of the Experience Green Belt website

This collaboration combined with a new, uniform corporate identity, a highly informative German website and intensive public relations work allowed the project to attain key goals such as enhancing acceptance among regional stakeholders and the regional population and making the Green Belt more widely known. Evaluations have confirmed that the Green Belt has strong tourist potential and can therefore contribute significantly towards sustainable regional development in line with nature conservation objectives. Even before project completion, the Eichsfeld region adopted the Experience Green Belt idea, thus demonstrating its transferability to other regions along the Green Belt. The main project outcomes were published in 2011 as Issue 113 in the BfN ‘Naturschutz und Biologische Vielfalt’ series.

The BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) Green Belt Project Office and the regions are continuing the public relations work for Experience Green Belt.

Further Information

Experience Green Belt

Last Change: 24/02/2021