Watt Welten UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Visitor Centre

Region

Europe

Country

Germany

Flyway

East Atlantic flyway

Initiative

WLI Europe

About

Name of organisation

City of Norderney, Wadden Sea National Park Authority, BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany

Funding support

Public

Number of staff

10

Number of visitors per year

80,000

Overall aims of the centre

Environmental education and awareness raising

Description of the centre

The Watt Welten UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Visitor Centre is located on the island of Norderney, one of the seven East Frisian Islands in Lower Saxony, Germany. The Wadden Sea, UNESCO World Heritage site since 2006, is a very important roosting and feeding area for millions of migratory birds along the East Atlantic Flyway. Surrounded by vast mudflats, dunes and salt marshes, the island’s avifauna is highly diverse and attracts a multitude of migratory birds. The Visitor Centre contains an interaction exhibition, featuring the world heritage criteria and information on fauna and flora of the island and the Wadden Sea. We offer around 40 different types of educational activities to increase the visitor’s awareness on environmental issues (e.g., mudflat hiking tours, birdwatching, hikes in the dunes and the salt marshes, etc.). Once a year, we take part in the annual Migratory Bird Days – nine days in autumn dedicated to migratory birds and bird migration – that are held along the entire German coast from the Dutch Border to the Elbe River.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work area

  • around 40 different types of educational activities to increase the visitor’s awareness on environmental issues
  • collaboration with school classes (primary and secondary school) as well as further education
  • engaging local people in citizen science projects (e.g., aviathlon)
  • using social media and print media

Top three successes

Outdoor activities (guided tours) are generally much in demand and very successful (nature excursions, bird watching events)

Top three challenges

Our greatest challenge is how to engage people (tourists) that are generally not interested in nature at all and do not care about the national park, its purpose and regulations.

Expertise

Interpretation techniques

Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Running a visitor centre

Participation

Working with disabled people; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools

General

Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Fund-raising

Contact

Name: Dr. Valeria Bers
Address: Watt Welten Visitor Centre, Am Hafen 2, 26548 Norderney, Germany
Telephone: +49 4932 2001
E-mail: valeria.bers@wattwelten.de

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