This winter I startet for some days to the Bavarian Forest National Park. There is hardly another country in Central Europe with such a variety of species and habitats as can be found in Bavaria. Alongside social security, unspoilt nature and a healthy environment play an increasingly important role for its people. Protected areas, particular the national parks in Bavaria, play a significant role in this regard. „Let nature be nature“ is the objective of the Bavarian Forest National Park, and in fact, there is nowhere else between the Atlantic and the Urals where such a large area of forests, bogs, mountain streams and lakes is allowed to develop according to its very own laws, into a unique wild forest landscape. Founded on 7th October 1970 as the first national park in Germany it was extended on 1st August 1997, and now covers an area of 24,250 hectares. Together with its immediate neighbour, the Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic, the Bavarian Forest National Park comprises the largest continuous area of forest in Central Europe. Protection is afforded above all to the spruce rich high forests and the mixed mountain forests of beech. Particularly valuable are the remnants of primeval forests at the foot of the Rachel and the Falkenstein, as well as the Schachten, former cattle grazing grounds which with their striking individual trees, remain witness to earlier human usage. Evidence of the high importance attributed internationally to the Bavarian Forest National Park includes its official recognition by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and the award of the European Diploma by the Council of Europe.