Nature Access to All
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The Project focuses on facilitating accessible and sustainable tourism in the Central Baltic regions, by improving access to nature tourism infrastructure, products and information, thus contributing to the increase of the number of tourists.
The Project focuses on facilitating accessible and sustainable tourism in the Central Baltic regions, by improving access to nature tourism infrastructure, products and information, thus benefiting to the increase of the number of tourists, inter alia:
- improving access to 14 nature tourism destinations in Kurzeme (Lat via), West-Estonia and Finland;
- compiling a Guidebook of accessible nature sites and developing a chain of accessible destinations to promote the Central Balic region as a single tourism destination;
- enhancing the Mapeirons.lv website to cover also the accessible nature trails and objects in Estonia and Finland;
- paying special attention to tourism-related products and solutions for people with disabilities (tactile objects, information in Braille script, audio and video solutions, information signs, senses-based solutions etc.).
In Kurzeme, Latvia, it is foreseen to develop 7 nature trails, adapting them to people with disabilities, at Lake Būšnieku, Liepāja Horse Island, Skrunda, Alsunga, Kazdanga and Kalēti Forest Park, i.a. installing dry accessible toilets, ramps, improving resting areas etc.
- Local and foreign travellers
- Tourism entrepreneurs and service providers
- Local municipalities and nature parks
- Non-governmental sector uniting people with disabilities
The Project is implemented by the Lead Partner – Kurzeme planning region in cooperation with 4 partners from Estonia and Finland:
- MTÜ Lääne-Eesti Turism (NGO West-Estonia Tourism), www.westestonia.ee
- Metsähallitus (Parks & Wildlife Finland), www.metsa.fi
- Keskkonnaamet (Estonian Environmental Board), www.keskkonnaamet.ee
- Pärnu City Government, Estonia www.parnu.ee
Chests of senses for nature interpretation
As part of the Nature accessibility project, the NatAc project partner – Estonian Environmental Board – created a new and innovative educational tool, which helps to interpret nature for people with disabilities, particularly – the visually impaired.
The educational tool is easy and handy for nature education specialists or guides or the person itself to go to nature and, using the chest of senses, getting to know the three ecosystems (forest, bog, coast) and the characteristic features of animals and plants in each of them, by using different senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell. In the various pockets of the senses’ bags, there are different plants, stones, fossils, plaster animal foot-prints and eggs and many other stuff, which allows to understand flora and fauna through the five key senses. There are also numerous tactile cards in each bag characterising each of the ecosystems with tangible photos of animals and plants, as well as QR codes with animal and bird sounds.
Five of such bags, developed based on the Estonian methodology, were this year produced also in Latvia – three of them are available at the Nature House of Lake Liepāja Zirgu Island, one – at Kalēti Parish Council and one – at Kazdanga Tourism Information Point.
Chests of senses shall definately be exciting also for kids and schoolchildren, therefore, if you are interested in hiking a nice trail and learning about nature in an engaging and playfyl manner, feel free to contact us or the Nature House of Lake Liepāja Zirgu Island, Kalēti Parish Council or Kazdanga Tourism Information Point and ask for an excursion!
Chests of senses have been made with support of the Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020 as part of the project CB786 “Nature Access to All” (NatAc).
Information provided by: Alise Lūse, Project Manager