On these pages you will find a plethora of articles about our current or past projects. You will also find some examples of our work on the page Track Record and a list of our services under Fields of Expertise. If you would like any more information about any of the projects mentioned just get in touch.
Posted on: 30th April 2013
The European Day of Parks is a unique campaign day celebrated every year on May 24th that mobilises Europe's citizens to express their passion for nature. Protected areas across the continent will take part in this year's day with events around the theme "My Park. My Passion. My Story."
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness" commented the renowned nature writer John Muir. On 24th May people in protected landscapes from all over Europe will celebrate the joy that being outdoors in nature brings. Since its launch in 1999, the European Day of Parks, founded and co-ordinated by the EUROPARC Federation, has become a European wide campaign with hundreds of events and activities.
The European Day of Parks gains its strength from widespread participation of protected areas, agencies and organisations working in conservation. The EUROPARC Federation sections and their members are also promoting and celebrating the Day of Parks: Federparchi, the Italian section, is liaising with the national youth sports association to mobilise young people, while in Spain RedEUROPARC takes the European Day of Parks to the Primavera festival in Madrid. Other special events will be organised, among others, in Belgium by Parc Naturel des Vallées de la Burdinale, in Croatia by the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and in Italy by Liguria Region and Portofino Regional Nature Park.
People of any age, nationality, gender, profession, dedication can take part in "My park. My passion. My Story". "Everybody is invited to join the campaign and help to foster the recognition and respect for Europe's green treasures" declares Thomas Hansson, President of the EUROPARC Federation. European Day of Parks will show once again the value of protected areas as unique places of recreation and joy with a rich biodiversity of fauna, flora, and ecosystems for European citizens. It plays a pivotal role in reminding people of the pleasure and benefits they gain from just being outdoors. People who are interested and enjoy nature can be part of the fun and show their support by joining in activities in a protected area in their own area.
Further information on the Day of Parks and a list of the events taking place in protected areas near you are available here. Alternatively you can contact the EUROPARC Federation's Communications Officer Julia Schönhärl for more information.
Posted on: 26th March 2013
Over the last few months the EUROPARC Consulting office has been even busier than usual. Staff and consultants have been working together closely preparing a number of tenders for some great projects across Europe. The hard work has already paid off - this month EUROPARC Consulting begins working on the COOL Tourism Project - to develop and promote the tourism offer in rural areas in the Cross Channel region
“COOL” is a European partnership of eleven local authorities and organisations in the east and south of England, and in the north-west of France. The original idea for a rural tourism project was jointly conceived by Visit Kent and Pas de Calais Tourism mid 2011. The COOL Tourism project started in January 2013 and will end March 2015. It is being delivered with the support of the European cross-border co-operation Programme INTERREG IV A, France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The rural areas in the partnership area boast beautiful countryside with cultural heritage and natural resources. Each partner area has special characteristics and a local distinctiveness which needs to be identified and captured. The project will look at opportunities to grow the rural tourism sector and identify obstacles and challenges. There is a need to create low impact, environmentally-friendly sustainable tourism that cherishes, not destroys and which minimises impact and builds environmental awareness. It must take into account the needs of the environment, local residents, businesses and visitors.
The initiative will explore different types of experiential tourism that can be found in the partnership area. This type of travel engages visitors in a series of memorable tourism activities that are inherently personal. It involves all senses, and makes connections on a physical, emotional, spiritual, social or intellectual level. It is designed to engage visitors with local people, set the stage for conversations, tap the senses and celebrate what is unique in this region of England and France.
New connections and finding added benefits from cross-border co-operation are just two of the advantages to come from the project. It will bring together staff teams with a diverse skill-sets including tourism and marketing, countryside management, heritage and cultural management, community working and healthy living. It will use new technologies and bring in outside know-how from researchers and technical experts, such as EUROPARC Consulting.
EUROPARC Consulting has been contracted to undertake crucial research, on behalf of the partnership, that will form the foundation for the success of the subsequent project activities. We will undertake wider research to identify precedent and best practice delivering rural tourism to help guide the work. We shall also help to set up a framework for the various partners to undertake their own local research to identify the hidden resources, challenges, and opportunities in their area. From this research and partnership working groups, we will design a common methodology that will eventually find its way into a COOL business toolkit.
The greatest challenge will be to keep the aims of the project alive, once the project itself has finished. EUROPARC Consulting will submit robust proposals for hosting a website which local businesses in France and the UK can access in order to promote and introduce the benefits of sustainable tourism where they live. At a time when the financial climate is very challenging for many small and medium-sized businesses we want to light a beacon which shows entrepreneurs a way forward to environmental and economic sustainability.
In a series of meetings a couple of weeks ago we met all the project partners and have already received a lot of positive feedback regarding our ideas. Andrew Middleton, Assistant Project Officer for project lead partner Norfolk County Council, believes, “Working with EUROPARC will give the partnership an excellent opportunity to work with professional experts within the industry, to share experience and knowledge at a significant level, and to learn more from each other in one project than a single partner would achieve alone.”
We are looking forward immensely to working on this project and in particular to the cross-channel work with so many diverse partners. We are fielding a brilliant team with great expertise in rural sustainable tourism both in France and in the UK. All four team members are excellent communicators, which will be really useful in bringing the many project partners together. The COOL project gives us a fantastic opportunity to show that sustainable tourism can function in rural areas, both inside and outside protected areas/designated landscapes. Ultimately, all tourism should be fully sustainable.
Should you have any questions about the COOL initiative or want more information please contact EUROPARC Consulting’s Managing Director, Wilf Fenten. Find out more about our work on our Facebook page and website.