The service

In 1986 it was decided to carry out a three-year experimental project with 14 Nature Interpreters. Today the number of Nature Interpreters has grown to 250. They organise more than 20.000 events with 700.000 participants each year. Some Nature Interpreters are employed by the State in the National Forests, others by the counties, the local authorities, museums or “green associations”, but they are all linked together in The Nature Interpreter Service with a secretariat established in common with The National Forest and Nature Agency and The Danish Outdoor Council.
Denmark has built up a modern organisation and modern training courses for the Nature interpreters. A series of active interpretation methods have been developed in order to make experiencing Nature an important tool in modern Danish environmental management and hopefully to inspire the population to have a positive attitude towards the future and towards a sustainable development.

The aim of setting up a Nature Interpreter Service was to give people interesting experiences in the countryside, a greater knowledge of the countryside and thereby a greater understanding of the complexity of Nature, of farming conditions and perhaps an increased environmental consciousness. It was also the hope that, if people had a greater understanding of Nature, they would appreciate it more and care for it better.

The Interpreters still try to create a love of Nature, but they try, at the same time, to create an understanding of local and global environmental conditions.

The aim of Nature interpretation in Denmark is:

  • to show that Nature is a composite whole consisting of countryside, sea, climate, plants, animals, history and culture, of which Man is a part, both influencing Nature and dependent on it.
  • to show that Nature must be both protected and used.
  • to inform how Nature is a basis for trade and industry as well as for open air activities.
  • to give information about the written and unwritten rules regarding access to the countryside.
  • to explain local environmental conditions in order to clarify the global Environment and to work towards a sustainable life style.
  • to give information on Nature in towns and on the connection between urban life and the environment.