TERRA.guides - Natur- und Landschaftsführer

TERRA.experience TERRA.guides Nature guides

The volunteer colleagues of the Nature and Geopark

In 2004, 17 bicycle routes were established in the natural park area – the TERRA.vita trails. Along with the hiking trails, they currently form the most important infrastructure of the park. The trails are well labeled throughout and are further enhanced with extensive accompanying background material, offering cyclists the opportunity to explore the park system in interesting and traffic-free ways.

The official opening of each trail was accompanied by a press event and a TERRA.vita-guided tour of the route. These tours were remarkably well attended each time, demonstrating that the interest in guided tours was apparently higher than we expected. However, it was also clear that our natural park team was too small to regularly offer such guided tours throughout the entire park. We would need people who, for the sake of their own love of bicycling and the transfer of their knowledge, were willing to guide visitors on the cycling trails.

This was the birth of the TERRA.vita volunteer program. The interest in volunteer work was enormous! Within a week of a corresponding announcement in the newspaper, more than 60 people responded who want to get involved with us. 


In the course of time, these volunteers were schooled in the basic natural sciences as well as in dealing with groups. For those especially interested, two rounds of a course were offered leading to “Certified Nature and Landscape Guides,” which led to an expansion of the offer. Since 2007, our volunteers have offered an entire series of guided hikes, walks, and excursions that, aside from the TERRA.trails, enable insights into the history of the surrounding landscapes. Currently, there are approximately 40 active volunteers, whose offers form the basis of the event programs of the Nature and Geopark.

We are particularly proud that many of today’s active volunteers were present from the outset, having been involved for more than 10 years now. But, new faces also enrich the team again and again and bring fresh ideas to the offers of the park. The volunteer program is supported by our umbrella organization, the EUROPARC, which offers the volunteer managers regular training within the framework of the “Ehrensache Natur” (Nature – a matter of honor!) program, and provides networking among the protected areas.

In addition to the volunteers, who are involved over long periods of time, the park regularly engages interns as well as a staff member within the framework of the Federal Volunteer Service.

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