Eurosite Working Group on Nature and Recreation

Citizens’ connection with nature is essential for well-being and understanding nature’s value. But it’s critical to balance our human needs with nature’s capacity. That’s why we set up the Eurosite Working Group on Nature and Recreation (NATREC).

Eurosite’s Nature and Recreation Working Group’s scope

The relationship between man and nature is complex and multi-fold. In spending time outdoors, recreation is one of them. As John Muir stated in 1905 and was re-affirmed during COVID-times, people need and seek natural surroundings. This sound connection of citizens with nature is essential for their well-being and understanding nature’s vital role and value.

The motives for doing so are countless, from fun and thrill-seeking to existential pilgrimage. The behaviour of each type of recreational visitor group varies, from a short one-hour hike ending in a local restaurant for a drink to days in the backcountry, coming out savaged but reborn as a person.

That’s why the Eurosite’s Working Group on Nature and Recreation exists.

As natural site managers in Europe, we deal positively or negatively with this topic. A favourable aspect is that we can bring visitors into close contact with all elements of nature, such as landscape, wildlife, plants and the overwhelming power of nature. The other side of the recreational coin is that the numbers and behaviour of visitors are hard to manage and keep in balance with the carrying capacity of nature.

But we firmly believe that the best way to protect nature is to let people experience it. We want every citizen to become an ambassador for nature, specifically the young generation. For that reason, we pay special attention to young people and their families. We have them play, explore and thus create a solid, ever-lasting bond with nature.

From this broad perspective, we invite everyone in this sphere to join the Nature and Recreation Working Group and share their experiences and ideas with an open mind.

The Nature and Recreation Working Group is chaired by Theo de Bruin.

Don’t hesitate to contact Jennifer Alexander if you wish to join this working group. 

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