SECOND STEP newsletter

STEP stands for Sustainable Tourism in Estuary Parks. The aim of this project is to develop sustainable tourism in the areas involved. The project brings together four organisations from three nature areas in The Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom. STEP has a total budget of € 6.000.000 of which € 2.500.000 is funded by the European Interreg Two Seas Programme. The project will be finished by the end of 2012. This newsletter will appear approximately twice a year.
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The STEP project has really started now. The first results are there, as you can see from the news below. Do not forget to have a look at the Estuary Trip Competition on our website by pressing the link at the end of this newsletter. You might win a sustainable trip abroad! There is an English and a Dutch version available.


June 15-17, 2011 there will be a STEP excursion in the Netherlands and Flanders. Topics are best practices in small scale accommodations, hike&bike ferry connections, gateways & information points and the use of ICT in education. Also there will be discussions on visitor centres and public-private cooperation. For more information click here.
Further down in this newsletter you will find more information on the Open Yard Day in the polders of Kruibeke, Sunday 5th of June.

STEP Biesbosch Open Days

The Biesbosch participated in 'Europe around the corner' which was organised by Kansen voor West on May 13-15, 2011. There was a presentation of some STEP products in Biesboschcentrum Dordrecht and one of the project managers told about the local STEP activities going on in het Biesbosch during a boat trip.


In the northern part of the polders of Kruibeke, the Agency for Nature and Forests (ANF) is building two fishing ponds. One will be reserved for local fishing clubs. The other pond will be a natural arrangement with reed beds and other aquatic plants, resting and spawning places for the fish and a few small islands. The plan also includes a swamp zone and a walking trail. The works will be carried out in the second half of 2012. Read more. You can see the full picture here.


Visitors to the Broads will now be able to get an amazing insight into the range of wildlife that exists in this magical waterland at the touch of a giant screen. From Easter three 42" (1075mm) touchscreens will be available in the Broads Authority's information centres at Whitlingham and Hoveton. They feature 200 vivid close-up film clips of Broads wildlife and habitats. 


The polders in Kruibeke are still closed for the public as the construction of the flood control area is in progress. On the 5th of June, however, we invite everybody to come and take a look at the future of this safety and nature project on our fourth Open Yard day. We have a lot in store for all Scheldt and polder-lovers. Several bike and hiking trails lead you to the highlights of the area. You can find your own way or tag along with a guide, revealing you all there is to know about the already magnificent and various habitats. Families are treated to a playful encounter with local mascot Xavier the deer and a specific information expo presents the results of the future visitor management study and STEP in general. Hungry for more? Snacks and drinks are provided in the local tavern Kallebeek, where a permanent exhibition and the project movie awaits you. We'll see you soon!



The Broads Authority and Broads Tourism organised a sustainable tourism seminar aimed at encouraging businesses to sign up to the Green Tourism Business Scheme - the UK-s only eco-tourism accreditation. The Broads has the largest cluster of accredited green businesses in the Eastern Region with around a dozen businesses belonging to the scheme. This year new criteria are being developed to include boating businesses.


Study Hike & Bike connections and accomodations in the Biesbosch.
Parkschap Nationaal Park De Biesbosch had a study done towards improvement of the hike & bike infrastructure in the Biesbosch. In an extensive and practical report a -chain with pearls- around the Biesbosch is presented, in which the chain consists of pedestrian and cyclepaths with connecting ferries, and the pearls are resting points with information and overnight accommodations. The report in Dutch has an English summary. Read more.

Strategy and Actionplan sustainable tourism Biesbosch

A strategy and action plan for sustainable tourism was made for the Biesbosch, as a preparation for the application for the European Charter. The plan was presented to and discussed with Biesbosch entrepeneurs on April 18, 2011. The National Park wants to cooperate with businesses to form a kind of business platform, so there will be continuity in cooperation between the Park and the businesses in the actions to make the Biesbosch more sustainable. You can find the complete action plan and presentation here.

Biesbosch businesses and Green Key

Ten Biesbosch-entrepeneurs signed a convenant with The Biesbosch National Park to make their business more sustainable. They want to obtain a Green Key certification this year. The Parkschap asked KMVK to help the businesses in realising this goal. Also, KMVK is developing sustainability criteria for boat rental companies, in which the experiences of the Broads are an example. More info is available here.


Want to visit an estuary park abroad? Then you should particpate in the Estuary Trip Competition!. There is also a Dutch version of the competition.

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