GNF - Nature without Barriers

Nature without Barriers

Assuring the access to nature education and nature experience for impaired people


Educational materials on the topic of "Guided nature experience for people with disabilities"

Nature experience and education for people with disabilities
Part 1: Guided nature experiences and educational programmes


Nature experience and education for people with disabilities
Part 2: Experience nature with all senses – practical ideas for methodological implementation


Self-determined Nature Experience
Towards barrier-free design of educational nature trails


Self-determined Nature Experience
Evaluation-tool for self-determined nature experience - the decision matrix


How to overcome physical barriers in nature experience
Brochure IO3


How to overcome physical barriers in nature experience
Brochure IO4

 Nature experience and education for people with disabilities
Part 1: Guided nature experiences and educational programmes
 Nature experience and education for people with disabilities
Part 2: Experience nature with all senses – practical ideas for methodological implementation


Experiencing nature for people with disabilities and tourism for all is an important issue in the EU. National parks, nature reserves and other places for nature experiences are starting to implement such offers. There is often a lack of guidelines to assess local conditions and enable decision-makers to start implementing relevant changes. A good catalogue of nature education activities for environmental educators is still lacking. The German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV) has developed guidelines for nature trails and other facilities. Partners of environmental education organizations from Germany, Poland, Austria and Hungary, who are active in this project in European lake regions, also gathered expertise on some aspects of this topic. Together we want to bring existing experiences into the project, expand our own knowledge and pass it on to others.

Project objectives


The main objective of the project is to improve adult education in the field of experiencing nature. To this end, educational materials will be developed, tested and disseminated to help promote the skills of environmental education professionals in relation to people with disabilities. Guidelines will be developed on two important issues:

  1. How can environmental educators improve their offer of guided nature experiences for people with disabilities?
  2. How can nature trails be prepared and/or changed for the unaccompanied use of people with disabilities?


The developed material also enables the setting of personal educational goals and the measurement of success by means of appropriate checklists. All material will be freely accessible. Concrete examples of work with people with disabilities in the field of nature conservation/experience will be developed: barrier-free brochures, audio guides, 3D material, films in simple language and sign language.


The focus will be on nature conservation centers in the participating countries Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria as well as areas of special interest for nature conservation.


With this project we want to promote the integration of people with disabilities in the EU and promote sensitivity for nature for all Europeans. We want to give impulses for the experience of nature to people with disabilities.

Project measures

Various results will be developed during the course of the project. Project meetings offer the opportunity to exchange views on general management issues, but also to gain an insight into the situation and implementation of the measures in the respective countries. Through a close and active cooperation in four European countries we want to achieve the following:

  • Creation of a guide on general nature education practices for people with disabilities, which will be available in all project languages for experts in guided nature education/experience. The guide also offers the opportunity to develop concrete pedagogical goals.
  • Provision of a comprehensive self-check tool with a clear matrix for the appropriate adaptation of educational elements in nature conservation centers and other nature education institutions (unguided nature experience – to enable autonomous use by people with disabilities).
  • Provision of a practical educational guide to overcome the accessibility of the site and the communication barriers with concrete examples (for unguided nature experience).
  • Creation of concrete examples for teaching material in each country (e.g. brochure, redesign of a nature trail, audio guide, D3 material, etc.).
  • Extension/acquisition by nature educators of special skills in working with people with disabilities.
 To the Project Webpage "Nature without Barriers"
 The international project team of "Nature without Barriers" went on a barrier exploration in the National Park Donau-Auen near Vienna, Austria.

Copyright: Umweltdachverband

 None of the project team members would have thought that a 2 cm high edge on the bridge passage would leave the wheelchair stuck!

Copyright: Umweltdachverband

 Barrier-free paths are important for people with mobile disabilities.

Project partners

 Global Nature Fund (GNF, Germany)
 Deutscher Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband e. V. (DBSV)
 Umweltdachverband (UWD, Austria)
 Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczne "Etna" (Poland)
 Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (LBDCA, Hungary)

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
 Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
 Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
 Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Contact person

Ms. Katja Weickmann

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Berlin

Phone: +49 30 2400 867 341



Project duration:


Project countries:




Project partners: 

1 October 2018 - 31 August 2021

Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary

Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union


Global Nature Fund (GNF, Co-ordination, Germany), 

Deutscher Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband e. V. (DBSV, Germany),

Umweltdachverband (UWD, Austria),

Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczne "Etna" (Poland),

Balatoni Integrációs és Fejlesztési Ügynökség Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft (LBDCA, Hungary)