At the end of the last year Aukje van Gerven, Training Manager at Rewilding Europe, visited the Oder Delta for a scouting trip in the area to meet the local team and find the right locations for a nature guide training, that will be held here in spring as part of Pelican Way of LIFE initiative.
Together with the Oder Delta rewilding landscape team and with trainer Simon Collier of Nature Tourism Development, Aukje visited a few locations, such as the Peene River, Usedom, and the Isle of Ruden, to choose the best locations for future training. During the 3-days trip, they not only hiked across landscapes but also spoke with local guides that were interested in the training to find out their training needs and thoughts.
“We will execute a nature guide training in the Oder Delta with a focus on wildlife comeback. It will partly replicate the boatman and guide training that took place in October 2021 in Sfantu Gheorghe, in the Romanian Danube delta,” says Aukje van Gerven. “We will share best practices between these two deltas that have a lot in common”.
The development of ecological tourism is seen as an alternative income source and helps to generate pride in local communities for the nature of their area. Finally, it results in support of wildlife comeback, especially of the keystone species like the Dalmatian pelican, beaver, white-tailed eagle, and more.
The upcoming training by Rewilding Europe, which will happen end of March, will gather ten local guides that want to advance their knowledge in providing unique guest experiences to different people, using popular tools like photo hides, kayaks, solar boats, and so on.
“We not only want to share knowledge but also support local nature pride and help guides to feel confident around guest interactions. Additionally, it’s important to ensure collaboration between guides. The practice shows that it helps to develop the whole sector and attract more tourists to the area, offering higher level tourism experiences,” adds Aukje.