Weissensee Nature Park

Weissensee Nature Park in Carinthia, Austria

Gentle holidays in this nature preserve

The conservation area around Lake Weissensee is enhanced by the Nature Park decree. This one-of-a-kind natural gem enjoys special protection.

Our mission is to preserve our beautiful nature, but also to make it an experience. Our ancestors were cautious and wise in dealing with nature. There is no through road, building land has been reclassified, we have a cultural landscape programme and much more. For all of these efforts, the Lake Weissensee area was awarded the EU Prize for the Environment and Tourism. Lake Weissensee is situated in the eastern Gailtal Alps and is part of an especially pristine natural area. Business is conducted with consideration for nature and sets a valuable example of how a particular region can be sustainably developed. In recent years, the Weissensee area has become a beautiful destination for anyone looking to relax, as well as for professional and amateur athletes alike.

Locals have long been aware of the close cooperation between high-quality, gentle tourism and the preservation of a healthy ecosystem. Model measures for the preservation of the cultural landscape have been implemented. The Nature Park emerged entirely from the Weissensee conservation area.

The Nature Park helps ensure that the sustainable economy in this area continues, and supports nature-friendly and resource-saving recreational opportunities. Our visitors are taught about nature, the basis of life, with informational and educational offerings.

Preservation of the Weissensee Nature Park

The goal here is to ensure the diversity and beauty of the natural environment through sustainable use, and to preserve the cultural landscape that has developed over centuries.

  • Visitor assistance
  • Contractual nature preservation (ÖPUL - Austrian Agri-Environmental Programme)
  • Reserve care and management
  • "Gentle mobility“
  • Information on natural history
  • Research projects

Cultural landscape conservation

The sustainable care of endangered, especially valuable, cultivated agricultural landscapes is contractually obligated by ÖPUL agreements. The goal is to continue to use old valuable cultural landscape areas sustainably and extensively, thereby preserving the biodiversity that exists there.

A total area of 31.73 ha in the Weissensee area, including the “Stockenboier Graben”, is subject to ÖPUL contract. The careful management of such areas is an important component of the Nature Park.

EU Award

The environmentally-friendly development of the region has also received international acclaim; one example is the European Village Renewal Award.

The following measures are decisive in this award:

  • Prevention of a transit road
  • Reclassification of building land
  • Contribution to the cultural landscape

Climate Alliance Communities

"Gentle tourism" in what is an extensive natural area is our watchword. Two-thirds of the lakeshore is undeveloped, and we are proud to have no through traffic or motorboats.

The region is also known for its "therapeutic climate". Since 2005 we have been one of Austria’s Climate Alliance Communities.

Regional development

The goal here is to set new trends for regional development by using the Nature Park to increase added value and to ensure great quality of life.

  • Cooperation between nature conservation, agriculture, tourism, business and culture
  • Socially-friendly and environmentally-friendly tourism
  • Nature Park products that meet defined criteria
  • Jobs thanks to the wildlife nature parks
  • Marketing informational material
  • Nature Park partners

Education

Offerings and goals

The goal here is for visitors to make nature and culture and their interrelation an experience through interactive concepts and encounters with nature.

  • Nature Park primary school
  • Nature Park kindergarten
  • Themed hike info centres, info boards
  • Adventure hikes
  • Well-prepared information material
  • Seminars, courses, exhibits
  • Connections to the cultural landscape and a corresponding educational offering
  • On-going cooperation with research institutes
  • Target-group-specific offerings
  • Staff training and development
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