|Water:Trails – For a sustainable recreational use of water habitats|
Water habitats and their diverse flora and fauna are at the heart of the Water:Ways campaign that was launched in 2011 by Naturefriends International together with Naturefriends Austria and the Austrian Federal Forests. Over the next few years, the scope of the campaign is to be expanded within the Naturefriends associations.
Experiencing the environment is a major part of rest and relaxation in one’s leisure time. Water habitats exert a strong pull on humans while, at the same time, being highly sensitive to overly intense use without taking into account the needs of the flora and fauna – this leading to damage of habitats, animals and plants. More often than not, it is due to a lack of knowledge of those looking for rest and relaxation or practicing recreational sports. The Water:Trails campaign intends to impart the knowledge about the characteristics of water habitats and the needs of the species living in it in order to contribute to a responsibly recreational use. Numerous activities organised by local Naturefriends groups – environmental educational hikes, environmental work camps and workshops for children are the core of the campaign. A “habitat brochure” published once a year on the occasion of the kick-off of a new thematic focus contains interesting information as well as several good-practice examples and tips for a considerate recreational use.