Bavarian Forest
National Park

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“Nature for all" in the Bavarian Forest National Park

Wall for blind visitors (Photo: Maria Hußlein)

The UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities was ratified by the EU in December 2010. In this international treaty the human rights of people with disabilities are defined so as to enable their equal participation in society (key word: “inclusion"). Furthermore, for the increasingly ageing population in general, things such as even paths, limited gradients and slopes are now a prerequisite for access to many facilities and areas.

The aim of accessibility – to ensure facilities and services for all people of any disability are “accessible and useable in the usual way, without particular difficulty and essentially without foreign help" (§ 4 Disabled Equality Law) – is unfortunately very difficult to implement in nature. Uniqueness and constant change are the essence of nature – especially in national parks, where the motto “Let nature be nature" is the order of the day. Nonetheless the Bavarian Forest National Park Authority has set itself the task of making the layout of and in its visitor facilities and outside in the park as accessible as possible, in order to ensure the opportunities for experiencing nature are as open to as many people as possible – even if complete accessibility cannot be brought about.