Nature park Bergisches Land


Natural classification

The Bergisches Land Nature Park was founded in 1973 and covers an area of 2027 square kilometres between the Wupper and Sieg rivers, from the Sauerland to the gates of Cologne. It is one of the 12 largest nature parks in Germany and home to over 715,000 people, as well as many rare and regionally typical plants and animals. It is one of Germany's national natural landscapes.

Between numerous green hills, the nature park offers a diverse cultural landscape, characterised by agriculture and forestry, but also by one of the oldest industrial regions in Germany. The frequent ups and downs of the landscape, the many river and stream valleys and the numerous mountain ranges result in a small-scale, species-rich natural landscape in the immediate vicinity of the Cologne / Bonn conurbations in the west and the Ruhr area in the north.

The density of 17 dams, which is unique in Europe, represents a special potential. Here, sustainable projects are currently being developed for various dams as part of the river and dam concept of Regionale 2025, Bergisches Rheinland. As part of the All Inclusive project, the Brucher Dam is currently being developed into a barrier-free lake.


Sights in the Bergisches Land Nature Park include the Müngsten Bridge (Europe's highest railway bridge), Burg Castle (the region's largest restored castle complex and former seat of power of the Counts of Berg and eponym of the Bergisches Land), Altenberg Cathedral, Homburg Castle (landmark of the Oberberg district), the Panarbora tree-top trail, the open-air museum in Lindlar and numerous other museums, half-timbered villages and small towns.


The nature park is organised as a special-purpose association. Its members are the independent cities of Cologne, Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal, as well as the Rhine-Berg district, the Rhine-Sieg district and the Oberberg district.


By law, its tasks include the preservation, development or restoration of a landscape characterised by diverse use and its diversity of species and biotopes, the promotion of sustainable regional development, the strengthening of nature-based tourism and recreation, and educational opportunities for sustainable development. The Bergisches Land Nature Park is actively involved in a wide range of committees and tries to fulfil these tasks within the scope of its financial and human resources. The nature park is particularly active in the classic areas of nature-based leisure and recreation. With its hiking and cycle path management, it is responsible for the maintenance and optimisation of approx. 1,000 km of hiking paths in the "Bergisches Wanderland" and 1,000 km of cycle paths from the hub system of the Rhineland cycle region.  It is supported by volunteers and the municipalities in the association area. The nature park is involved in the production of hiking and leisure guides, supports schools in education for sustainable development, offers nature park excursions and supports clubs and associations in their activities.

Together with the tourism organisations and the biological stations, the topic of sustainable tourism is being further developed and the development of offers strengthened. To this end, nature park guides have been trained in the region to communicate the relevant topics. Other topics such as health, mountain biking & cycle touring, as well as the topic of "water experience" are being further developed by the tourism marketing organisations in particular and coordinated with the nature park.

Participation in the region

The nature park becomes visible through participation in important events, fairs and markets in the region. The projects for the optimisation of the hikers' car parks and the establishment of so-called trekking sites will be further advanced.


The nature park's cooperations and network will be further strengthened and expanded. In addition, the nature park is involved in regional bodies, such as the two LEADER regions, the Cologne Food Council or the mill working group of the Rhineland Regional Council (LVR) and also contributes to the various working groups of the Cologne/Bonn Region e.V.. Networking with the partners in the nature park ensures that the sustainable development of the cultural landscape, the promotion of nature-based tourism and the preservation of typical customs can be better coordinated and synergies can be used. Examples include the tourism organisations, the biological stations, Aqualon and :metabolon, supra-regional institutions such as the Rhineland cycling region, the NRW Nature Parks Working Group, the Sauerland Mountain Association and nationally the Association of German Nature Parks and the National Natural Landscapes Association.

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