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A regional nature park

It was the villages of Binn, Ernen and Grengiols that started the project of the Binntal Landscape Park in 2002. Nine years later and extended by the villages of Bister, Blitzingen and Niederwald, the Landscape Park got the official label of «Regional Nature Park of National Importance». The Binntal Landscape Park is thus the first regional nature park in the entire Canton of Valais.
Binntal is known as «the valley of hidden treasures» and for its wealth of mineral resources. Flora and fauna are utterly diverse, too. The villages and hamlets with their sun-kissed houses are in such a well-preserved condition that they have been recognised as townscapes of national and regional importance. They are located in a sound cultural landscape, which has always been treasured with a lot of effort and love.

What is a Regional Nature Park?

According to the Swiss Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection (schweizerisches Natur- und Heimatschutzgesetz NHG) the Binntal Landscape Park is a «Regional Nature Park of National Importance». Regional Nature Parks connect protection and upkeep of valuable habitats and extraordinarily beautiful landscapes with economic development. Agriculture, tourism and industry can benefit from these scenic advantages but at the same time should treat them with care. The aim is to have a harmonious balance between preservation and development. The residents of the park regulate the direction of the development.

They are thus actively involved in the process. The parks help to ensure the economic, social and cultural autonomy of the villages and regions in the future. The aims of the Regional Nature Parks are:

  • Quality preservation and appreciation of nature and landscape
  • Strengthening of sustainably operated economy
  • Sensitisation and environmental education
  • Management, communication and spatial protection

A label for Swiss Parks

Besides the labelling of products like «AOC» or «Bio», the labelling of regions has become more and more important. Regions like Binntal hope to gain new economic impulses from labels like «Landscape Park» or «Regional Nature Park». Hence, the domestic resource wood, for instance, shall regain a higher significance and be processed and used in the area.

In May 2005 the sponsors of the parks and park projects of national significance have united and formed the «Network of Swiss Parks». Their aim is to achieve a cohesive appearance thanks to the national label «Swiss Parks», coordinated marketing and advertising campaigns and also the national and international transfer of knowledge amongst parks and park projects.

For more information go to the website of the Network of Swiss Parks: www.paerke.ch