Nature Conservation Area (NSG) Goor
An Old Beach Forest on the Shores of the Baltic Sea
Miraculously, a magnificent high forest has managed to survive within the heavily cultivated landscape along the south-eastern shore of the island of Rügen. Upon the initiative of Hannes Knapp, in 1990 this forest was protected as a nature conservation area (NSG) within the newly established biosphere reserve “Southeast Rügen.” Since 2003, the Michael Succow Foundation owns 61 hectares of this area. In the future, this forest will be allowed to develop according to nature’s laws. The only human interference will involve the careful removal of non-native, planted spruce, larch, Douglas fir and poplar trees.
The goal of our foundation is to allow this forest, which consists of stately beeches, hornbeam, oaks, wild cherries and mountain maple, to regenerate back to a “natural” forest. Visitors who reverently approach this forest will find themselves fascinated over and over again. In the “Goor”, they can experience a forest that is becoming more awe-inspiring, diverse and primeval with every passing year.
The desire to create environmental education opportunities for visitors was addressed by a thesis entitled “The Conflict between Culture and ’Wilderness’ – a Concept for a Thematic Trail in the Forest Reserve NSG Goor in the Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen”, which also offered initial suggestions for implementation. This thesis became the basis for the project “The Path of Leisure and Awareness – a Thematic Trail in the NSG Goor.“
The project goals can be subdivided into the construction of the thematic trail, the development of an accompanying brochure, and the creation of information boards as well as entrance and warning signs. In addition we developed an informational flier about the trail and a concept for guided tours through the reserve. Besides our main goals, environmental education and public outreach, we try to foster ecological awareness and create a higher sensibility for the topic of sustainability. The opening ceremony and dedication of the path took place on May 18, 2008.
The nature conservation area “Goor” is situated in a model region for sustainable development. The contents of the thematic trail touch upon central questions of sustainability, which are closely linked with this forest, and are meant to stimulate the visitors’ experience, thinking, and actions. The name “Path of Leisure and Awareness” hints at two major prerequisites for the implementation of sustainable development. On the one hand there is awareness, which can be achieved through information and reflection. On the other hand, we also require leisure – time and opportunity to gain awareness and to implement and integrate it into our daily life.
Within a relatively small area, the reserve “Goor“ offers deep insights into our natural and cultural heritage. The visitor walks through a variety of forest types, past imposing trees, burial mounds, and former settlements that have been reforested.
Nineteen stations along the 4 kilometres of the “Path of Leisure and Awareness“ offer information and insight into impressive natural and cultural phenomena. Glacial boulders mark each station and point out its special features. An accompanying brochure (available for 5.00 € at the Hotel Badehaus Goor, e.g.) offers additional information about each station.
The trail is also used for environmental education activities by other institutions, e.g., the Office for the Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen.
Interested visitors may register for guided hikes on the “Path of Leisure and Awareness,“ lead by volunteer staff member Steffi Deickert.
This project could be realised thanks to the financial support from the Norddeutsche Stiftung für Umwelt und Entwicklung (NUE), the State Office for Environmental Protection, Nature Conservation and Geology of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (LUNG), The Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) e.V., and in co-operation with the Nature Conservation Alliance (NABU) Greifswald and the Office for the Biosphere Reserve Southeast Rügen.
Steffi Deickert, email: s.deickert(at)natur-beruehrt.de