Nature Worlds Brandnertal

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation

Disaggregation level

Project region

Local Action Group (LAG)
LAG REGIO-V Regionalentwicklung Vorarlberg

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period

Project costs overall
313 500,00€

Subsidy from LE 14-20
125 400,00€

EN - 19.2.1. Umsetzung der lokalen Entwicklungsstrategie

Project initiator
Bergbahnen Brandnertal Ges.m.b.H.

Short description

The impressive diversity in the mountains of the Brandnertal valley makes it possible to sensitise people to a wide variety of scientific phenomena and thus to promote valuable foundations for sustainable ways of thinking and behaviour. Emotions are the key to sustainable learning. Alongside already existing paths, the "Plant Worlds" and "Animal Worlds" form two new sections with 19 stations, which are sensitively embedded in the region - considering the views of nature conservation, hunting and forestry. The stations are intended to promote physical activity in nature and sensitivity to life, to be attractive for day and week visitors and, especially for the latter, to provide a valuable and divers weekly programme for good and particularly bad weather conditions. In addition, a "research package" is being developed for school classes from the region as well as for children from holidaymakers, which invites them to take an active interest in fauna and flora.

Point of departure

Tourism is of crucial economic importance for the Brandnertal valley. In the past, it was mainly the winter season that attracted many visitors to the valley, but in the last few years, interest has also grown in the summer. The new, interactive theme trails are designed to enhance the attractiveness of the area and provide an enriching contact with the habitat, some of which is available all year round, for day tourists and overnight guests. The stations are arranged so that they can be used and adapted - in some cases - all year round, in summer as well as in winter and especially under bad weather conditions, thanks to additional functions.

Therefore, the planned project is another major step towards establishing the valley as a year-round destination. During the realisation we use the already existing network of paths and avoid unnecessary furnishing of the landscape. The so called “Natursprüngeweg” trail, which was opened in 2014, is used intensively, but, as the name already suggests, deals with the origins of nature with reference to the Brandnertal valley in general.

The planned new paths are intended to bring the - sometimes not so obvious - treasures of the fauna and flora right in front of the curtain and sensitize visitors.

Targets and target groups

The value of diversity
“Once the bee disappears from the planet, mankind only has four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more pollination, no more plants, no more plants, no more animals."

This assessment does not come from a conspiracy theorist, but from none other than Albert Einstein and has recently become unpleasantly topical with the decline of bees.

The fate of life on our planet also depends on the fate of individual species and time has come to clarify such connections. In order to internalize their meaning, it is necessary to understand the needs of different species. An inconspicuous animal species such as the wood ant fulfils numerous indispensable functions in a forest - from the destruction of countless bark beetle larvae to the elimination of dead animals. A few interactive minutes, in which you can put yourself into an animal species and play through its functions, are enough to internalize its meaning for a lifetime. The central goal is to transfer the knowledge about the different animal species in a playful way and with a focus on movement.

From the knowledge of our ancestors
Herbal medicine has long lasting tradition in the Alpine region - also due to the diversity of existing species. A tradition that is increasingly being forgotten in our fast-paced times. Paradoxically, just at a time when more and more of the herbal active substances are being analysed and understood. If the knowledge of our ancestors was based on tedious acquired experiences, science would now know about many of the active substances, but there is a general lack of emotional connection to plants among the population. The “Plant Worlds” are meant to counteract this trend. The plants and the knowledge about their healing effects should be interactively linked with an emotion (smell, touch experience) and thus emotionally anchored.

From climate and nature
Many studies have shown that many species in the Alpine region react very sensitively to global warming. Many of them depend on the special conditions and are in danger of being replaced by other species. They "flee" into higher regions, although natural limits are set for them.

A further aim of the present project is therefore to use worked through "individual fates" to convey the essential interrelationships around climate change in an understandable way for visitors.

Project implementation and measures

Authenticity of measures as a top priority - we only present what we really have on site. The diversity of nature in the Brandnertal valley makes this possible. The 19 stations are designed in such a way that they point out fascinating natural phenomena and not distract from them.

Path 1:"Animal worlds": Understanding ecosystem services through their inhabitants. This part of the trail brings different animal species into the spotlight. What are the important roles of forest ants or bees? How do they fulfil their "tasks"? Hauling like ants, dancing like bees, communicating like marmots and gliding like an eagle - at activity stations, visitors can imitate typical behaviours, put themselves into the animals and internalize their meaning.

Path 2:"Plant worlds": Living better with the knowledge gained from Grandma's bag of tricks. The flora of the mountain world has a fascinating diversity, but its vulnerability is usually massively underestimated. In particular, climatic changes have a massive impact on the plants in the mountains and lead to the extinction of entire plant communities. The botanical part of the nature trails is dedicated to the sometimes inconspicuous pearls of the mountain world.

The experience of the flora should not only happen with profiles, but primarily via emotions. What fragrances are produced, what colours are involved, what special features do the plants have, what treasures for our health do they carry and how can we use them? Especially in our fast-moving age, much valuable plant knowledge of our ancestors is lost. We'll get Grandma's bag of tricks out of the oblivion.