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Wild Europe

Photo: London

Planeta.com continues to update this guide to Wild Europe – the region’s biodiversity, wildlife, parks and protected areas and the opportunities for ecotourism and conscious local responsible travel.

Also check out our spotlight on european ecotourism


‘Alarming’ extinction threat to Europe’s trees
15 Local Food/Farmers Markets in the UK National Parks@uknationalparks
Alemania convierte 62 bases militares en reservas naturales – AP
The economic value of England’s AONBs and National Parks – Green Traveller
Il turismo green vale 12 miliardi Oltre 100 milioni di visitatori nei parchi italiani
Privatisation of UK woodlands is happening by the backdoor | Mark Avery
Fracking will be allowed under national parks, UK decides
Britain’s National Parks
Bone China Tea Party
Nationalpark Eifel eröffnet barrierefreien Naturerlebnispfad
‘Chaotic’ biodiversity offsetting threatens UK wildlife@bluegreentweet
European Tourism Indicators System : for Sustainable Management at Destination Level
Beauty reduced to bricks and mortar
Travelodge to expand into rural locations
Wild wonders of Europe
Snail’s trail reveal ancient human migration
Stories of Wilderness

From the Festivals — Tim Flannery on Europe’s bizarre prehistory

Campaign for Parks

June 1-30 30 Days Wild
⚡️ Twitter Moment

June 2017 European Wilderness Days

4th Sunday in July International Bog Day

National Parks Week (UK)


April 17-19, 2017 4th European Ecotourism Conference – Safranbolu,Turkey

Upcoming events

May 24 The European Day of Parks


Recommended viewing
Wild wonders of Europe

Recommended Listening


Ramblings with Clare Balding

Recommended Reading
Protected Areas in Europe – An overview
Protected areas today cover a relatively large part of Europe, with almost 21% of the territory of EEA member countries and collaborating countries consisting of protected areas. In spite of the widespread presence of protected areas in all European countries, the topic has not received as much attention on a pan-European level as other environmental issues. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of protected areas in Europe and aims to assist policymakers and the wider public in understanding the complexity of current PA systems.

Traveling to the Wild South (Traveling to Europe’s last remaining wilderness)

EDEN is the acronym for European Destinations of ExcelleNce, a project promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. Since 2007, EDEN has been on a quest to uncover and promote lesser-known travel destinations, from lush mountain meadows to small community fiestas. Every year, new emerging destinations are chosen not only from among the 27 Member States of the European Union, but also from the Candidate and EEA/EFTA Countries. EDEN destinations are extraordinary places, diverse in their tourism potential and products, but connected by their concern for sustainability.
EDEN Pictures

We are a network of site managers working towards a Europe where nature is cared for, protected, restored and valued by all. Tilburg, The Netherlands


Eurosite calls for a Europe where nature is cared for, protected, restored and valued by all@Eurosite

Attachment Size
Eurosite Strategy 2015-2020.pdf 10.56 MB
Eurosite – a home for suits and muddy boots.pdf 4.8 MB

UK: State of Nature
As well as the full report, there’s a short summary for each UK country
State of Nature report – England
State of Nature report – Northern Ireland
State of Nature report – Scotland
State of Nature report – Wales
State of Nature report – Wales (Welsh language version)

So much more than the view
National Parks England
National Associaton for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Elsewhere on the Web

Dover straight

Jura Mountains

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism

ECEAT – European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism
Starter Guide – Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas (PDF)

European Ecotourism
hans friederich


EDEN Pictures

Flickr Groups
Ecotourism Europe
East European Ecotourism

European Ecotourism Conversations
PAN Parks, the European Wilderness

Adventure (wilderness) Travel
European Wilderness Society’s’ wilderness travel website
Travel2Wild specialised on wilderness travel in Europe

European Ecotourism

Europarc — http://www.europarc.org— Europe’s largest protected area network. Protecting biodiversity and cultural heritage through international cooperation and sustainable development.

Message to Charter Network from EUROPARC President and Council
The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas (ECST) has come a long way. It started with the vision from the first working group on sustainable tourism in protected areas in 1991 and now in 22 years later we have a Charter network of 107 protected areas in 13 countries and can claim we are the oldest, widest and largest network of Sustainable Tourism Destinations (STD) based in Protected Areas in Europe.

This work could not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of many people and is something EUROPARC members can be rightly proud of. Our contribution to sustainable tourism on a world stage has been exceptional.

The Charter “magic numbers” speak for themselves showing the relevance of our network. Other sustainable tourism destination awarding systems are now recognizing the ECST as a relevant network worthy of being actively involved in their own discussions about sustainability, namely the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the EU DG Enterprise, the European Ecotourism Network.

EUROPARC does not rest on our laurels as there remains still work to do if our protected areas are to remain valuable places for wildlife and people. In order to take the Charter forward we will be seeking
a) a more relevant role of EUROPARC at International, European and EU level in what concerns STD based in Protected Areas;
b) enlarge and consolidate the Charter Network developing all parts I, II and III of the Charter methodology;
c) update and improve the quality of the ECST methodology and standards text, templates, criteria, procedures, etc..
Therefore to highlight the work we want to give to policy aspects of the Charter and to all the lobbying work that needs to be developed, a redefinition of the Charter management Structure is now needed. This has involved a lot of discussion with many actors in the Charter in particular the Sustainable Tourism Working Group whose input and work on this is much appreacited.

We are closing a period of the life of the Charter with the strong conviction that the next years we can provide more services to Charter Parks and Charter Partners and become more relevant as a Network for their work as Park administrations and as Tourism businesses.

As stated before, the coming next three years are crucial to the Charter visibility and viability mainly because:
a) we are in a transition period between EU funding periods and need to have a strategy in order that the Charter Network and its members become a stronger Network with a clear strategy towards sustainability of the tourism we award at our destinations and can benefit from it in terms of EU funding support;
b) we are in a period where everyone wants to have their own sustainability criteria recognized by the other players and at a global process of reviewing and stating the ultimate criteria for Sustainable Tourism Destination Criteria where the ESCT can have a relevant role claiming we are the oldest, largest and widest network of the kind and we can lead other awarding schemes to a common understanding and mutual recognition that will make us stronger and bigger as a network;
c) we have 20 years’ experience and need simply to update our procedures and improve our quality of services provided as well as to accomplish the full methodology of the Charter, widening the Charter Part II involvement of Tourism business to all the Charter Network and opening finally the Charter Part III and start to involve the tour operators that want to work with us Sustainable Tourism Principles.
As such, therefore the time has come for a restructuring of the Charter Management in order to bring the principal operations wholly within the management of the Federation.

This means work on the Charter would be led by the Directorate, responsible to the EUROPARC Council principally with support for the Sustainable Tourism Working Group and EUROPARC Sections.

EUROPARC Consulting will still be contracted to undertake verification aspects of the work on behalf of the Directorate with the role of the Evaluation Committee remaining that of assessors and advisors.

This creates a EUROPARC “Charter Team” with the knowledge and skill set advanced across the network, with the added potential bringing in new people with new ideas and processes to add to the foundation of experience already contained within the system.

With monies coming directly into the Federation, the small potential surplus should allow investment in aspects of Charter operation that until now have been somewhat fallow. This we believe is a positive and constructive and future looking change. Any change is however not without its disruption and with willingness of all partners we can embed new systems and lines of communication in our network, to advance the work of sustainable tourism in protected areas

We have defined some important goals we hope to achieve in the coming years, with your continued support and cooperation.

1º to have the new management structure ready in order applications for Charter Part I presented by the end of 2013 will be already dealt in the new terms. This will mean all applications for the charter , including invoicing and other financial transaction will now be dealt with by the EUROPARC directorate directly
2º to have our criteria, official texts, procedures (updated accordingly with the major trends from STD Indicators awarding systems)
3º to have the Charter Part III ready by 2014;
4º to have a wider acceptance of the Charter Part II in the network
5º to have a common platform for mutual recognition between awarding systems for STD based in protected and classified areas by 2014.

In order to achieve this ambitious outputs the Council has approved a document about the Strategic Management of the ECST for the next period 2014-2016 in the last Council meeting of 10 May in Latvia.

We wanted to share this change with you and will send more detailed news with details and contacts soon.

There will be an Action Plan for 2014 to be presented to the Council and work amongst the Charter Team is going to start NOW! All the Charter Network will have soon news about what is going to happen this year. Be ready! We are!

EUROPARC President Thomas Hansson and Council

EUROPARC Federation
Waffnergasse 6 93047 Regensburg Germany

European Wilderness Society


The Society also has the following social web channels: facebook, twitter (@EUWilderness) and linkedin
The European Wilderness Society has a threefold mission:

  • identifying, designating, promoting in the management and lobbying for existing and new wilderness areas in Europe
  • increase the total designated wilderness area in order to balance our human footprint in the European continent
  • inspire Europeans to care for our wild places across the Pan European continent

As its name implies the European Wilderness Society has its primary focus on the European wilderness and to achieve this objective its build on a successful network of people and support from various sectors of the European Wilderness Society: individuals, non-profit & profit, and government organisations. All these are either already part of the European Wilderness Society or are welcomed to join and take part in our mission.
The European Wilderness Society is managing the European Wilderness Preservation system. In addition it has developed an updated set of European Wilderness Quality Standards which are used by the numerous organizations in Europe to quantify and qualify wilderness. The European Wilderness Society published almost weekly a wilderness newsletter with interesting stories, background information, updates on European Wilderness Policy issues and inside information into numerous wilderness areas. Four times a year we publish the European Wilderness Journal in both a printed version and as an Ebook. This first European Wilderness Journal highlights the top wilderness issues in Europe in a more elaborate way than our online wilderness news.

National Parks UK
National Parks UKhttp://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/learningabout/whatisanationalpark/nationalparksareprotectedareas/iucncategories
National Parks Week

Accessible Travel

Wadden Sea

Environmental Funding
LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3115 projects, contributing approximately €2 billion to the protection of the environment.

European Ecotourism Network (EEN)
The European Ecotourism Network (EEN) is a network of organisations aiming to ensure that ecotourism services in Europe contribute to a genuine conservation and sustainability effort. Our target is to connect ecotourism stakeholders across Europe and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience for the benefit of ecotourism practitioners, academics and policy makers. EEN supports the development and implementation of the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard (EETLS) – an initiative that ensures baseline standards of quality in ecotourism while avoiding at the same time green-washing and unsustainable operations. EEN supports the training resources and the quality evaluation tools developed by the ECOLNET project, which are accessible online and free to use by all EEN members.

Friday, June 29 Live Streaming Tourism Conference from Estonia, 930am-430pm

Presentations by

  • Fouli Papageorgiou – European Ecotourism Network and the European Ecotourism Labelling Standard (EETLS)
  • Zoltan Kun – the PAN Parks Tourism Model
  • Bogdan Papuc – from EETLS to Eco-Romania – ecotourism destinations and products in Romania
  • Gordon Sillence – EEN and the Knowledge Networking Portal for Sustainable & Responsible Tourism
  • Mart Reimann – Estonia – the Natural Way as a national quality standard

Suggestions for future events:
Connect the computer to the camera so that we can see the presentations
Record Q&As with participants
Encourage or insist that participants have an account on Twitter. (So many laptops in the room, barely any comments from participants)
Post presentations beforehand on Slideshare. There was too much reading of Powerpoints.
Take the camera out of the room. Hold a photo safari
Take the conference out of the room. Hold a fringe event with the public
For European events in which you want to an audience in the Americas, the best time is late afternoon or evening.

May 2015 Little Sydney: Protecting Nature in Europe (Hainburg/Donau-Auen National Park, austria)

Buzzword Bingo
Badgers – Beavers – BiodiversityBog – Conkers – Ecosystem – Ecotourism – Forest – Islands – Nature – ParksRewilding – Savannah – Tatra Mountains – Trees

Maria Sibylla Merian
European Geoparks Network
Anna Atkins

Older Features

England Parks Review (2018)

Tbilisi, Georgia Hosts European Ecotourism Conference (2018)


State of Nature 2019

Wild France = France Sauvage

England’s Lake District



Europe Links

European Ecotourism

European Green Capital



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