German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Experience Green Belt

Funding Priority

Raising public acceptance of conservation: Communication, information and participation models


Former internal German border, in three model regions – Elbe-Altmark-Wendland, Thuringian Mountains and Schist Mountains/Frankonian Forest  and Harz – spanning the German states of Bavaria, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia

Project Lifecycle

04/2005 – 01/2006 (preliminary study)
03/2007 – 09/2011 (three main studies in three model regions)
01/2007 – 03/2011 (accompanying research)


The project objective is to test and fine-tune a nature tourism vision and marketing strategy developed for the Green Belt in a preliminary study. This is done in three model regions: the Elbe-Heide-Salzwedel triangle, the Harz and its foothills, and the Frankonian/Thuringian Forest.

The aim is to achieve a substantial boost in terms of recognition and appreciation among day-trippers and tourists for the countryside along the Green Belt and its history. Alongside landscape management measures, planned activities include compiling information material, putting up uniform signage, marking out cycling and walking routes and setting up exhibits and attractions, so called "border experience points".

Part of the project involves developing specific options for vacations with a natural history and tourism emphasis. People are invited to take part in work camps where they can help conserve the Green Belt while learning a great deal about it, to experience the Green Belt in all its variety on guided walking tours, and to discover the Green Belt on their own with audio guides, special maps and guidebooks.

A wide range of events are also planned highlighting natural, historical and cultural aspects of the region.

Three model regions have been selected for the project. Each model region has its own slogan:

  • Elbe – Altmark – Wendland: "Border experiences in the quadripoint country"
  • Harz: “Harz without frontiers – On Harz border paths through nature and history"
  • Thuringian Mountains and Schist Mountains/Frankonian Forest "Green Belt – an (inter)active experience"

All three projects are managed by an organisation working on a transboundary basis, paving the way for cross-cutting cooperation not only across geographical borders, but across professional divisions between nature conservation practitioners, administrations and the regional tourism sector.

Regional stakeholders are supported by a team of scientists and researchers who, apart from performing general project evaluation, are responsible for developing a uniform image or ‘brand’, providing expert advice and the overall marketing of the Green Belt, the project and its products.

A key element is the creation of a large web portal with information on the model regions and on nature,  culture and history of the Green Belt, with a map-based navigator, options for outings and vacations, and an accommodation directory.

Secondary aims and activities

  • The vision and marketing strategy will be adapted to the regions and translated into action on a model basis in close partnership with regional stakeholders in the tourism, farming/forestry and nature conservation sectors.
  • Implementing activities will take account of regional tourism and nature conservation needs and make the greatest possible use of available synergies.
  • Gaps in the Green Belt will be closed as far as possible by implementing proposals for its enhancement based on a gap analysis produced for the preliminary study.
  • Specific landscape management measures will be implemented to help conserve the Green Belt in the model regions.
  • Information material, information boards and information points will be compiled and set up using the corporate identity developed for the Green Belt in the preliminary study and the accompanying research. The corporate identity is also to be applied in the marketing.
  • Green Belt Experience packages and products will be developed for tourists.
  • Outcomes, products and experience from the model regions will be appraised for suitability in other parts of the Green Belt and where appropriate designed from the outset for use along the whole of the Green Belt.
  • Integration at international (European) level: The European Green Belt, transborder projects, international cycling and walking routes, etc.

Entity Responsible for the Project

Bund Naturschutz in Bayern e.V. – the Bavaria section of BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) (preliminary study and accompanying research)
Bauernfeindstr. 23
90471 Nürnberg, Germany

Trägerverbund Burg Lenzen e.V. (Elbe-Altmark-Wendland model region)
Burgstraße 3
19309 Lenzen, Germany

Regionalverbund Thüringer Wald e.V. (Thuringian Forest and Schist Mountains/Frankonian Forest model region)
Postfach 13 12
98558 Oberhof, Germany

Harzer Tourismusverband e.V. (Harz model region)
Postfach 1669
38606 Goslar, Germany

Point of Contact at BfN

Dr. Karin Ullrich, FG II 2.1

Dr. Uwe Riecken Department II 2

Project Funding Organisations

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Regionalverbund Thüringer Wald e.V., Umweltministerium Niedersachsen, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Bund Naturschutz in Bayern e.V., Trägerverbund Burg Lenzen e.V., BUND Landesverband Sachsen-Anhalt, BUND Landesverband Niedersachsen, BUND Bundesverband, Oberfrankenstiftung, Amt Lenzen, Harzer Verkehrsverband e.V., Niedersächsische Lottostiftung BINGO, Altmarkkreis Salzwedel, Amt Neuhaus, Landkreis Lüchow-Dannenberg, Lotto-Toto GmbH Sachsen-Anhalt, Stiftung Umwelt, Natur- und Klimaschutz Sachsen-Anhalt, Regionalverband Harz, Stadt Hornburg, Verwaltungsgemeinschaft Osterwieck-Fallstein, Stadt Salzwedel, Niedersächsische Umweltstiftung, Thüringer Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Naturschutz und Umwelt, Förderverein Kloster Arendsee, Verwaltungsgemeinschaft Nordharz, Stadt Vienenburg, Stadt Ilsenburg, Karl-Krauss-Stiftung

Grant Amount

€ 3,645,000

Further Information

Last Change: 01/01/2015