The natural forest of Bavaria - back to the roots
"Mankind out - nature doesn't need you" - that's the message promoted by 27 young Germans who are looking after Germany's first national park, the natural forest of Bavaria.
It's located east of Munich on the border of the Czech Republic, a country which shares the project. The aim is to restore one of the largest wilderness areas in Europe to exactly how it was before man settled there.
The project is unique in that it will require very little course of action to taken, in fact, none. According to the experts, new trees should be allowed to grow next to old ones and dead trees should not be cleared away but left to decompose. After 20 years, they will become rich, new soil for the young trees to grow in.
A love of nature is deeply embedded in German culture. Scores of German poets have written with passion and affection about the subject. Goethe, who is to German literature what Shakespeare is to English, shared the belief that God was present in all things natural.
On a more practical level, the country's love of nature can be seen today in its care for the environment. Recycling is a respected and even expected part of everyday life for most Germans. They separate their rubbish into waste food, paper, plastic and metal. Glass is even thrown away in separate containers - one for "Weissglas", transparent glass, and one for "Buntglass", coloured glass.
Tel: 0049 9922 4347
The National Park is open to visitors all year round.
National Park Bavaria
Official website of the Bavarian natural forest. Brief description of the forest and colour photos of the animals living there, such as wolves, lynx and bears. In English and German.
Tourism in the National Park
Website for the town of Spiegelau, the gate to the Bavarian Forest National Park. In German.
Federal Environment Ministry
Nature protection and care for the environment on the most official level. In English and German.