Editor’s Piece

Once again there’s been no shortage of contributions to the newsletter, which is good news to an editor. But unfortunately there’s little room for the many photos which came with them. So there are just a few here, but we’ll get more up on our web page and our Facebook.

I myself am just recently home from visiting family in England and the Netherlands and had an interesting day in the World Heritage National Park in the extremely shallow Wadden Sea, puddling in the mud flats with a volunteer guide. She gave me a copy of their magazine (48 pages, out four times a year) and even with my rusty Dutch it was clear that her group was the equivalent of our Friends Group, and that we face some very similar challenges particularly “how to make tourism a blessing not a curse”.  They state their aim as:

“to protect the area and keep it for future generations. We do this by political lobbying, influencing businesses, using the law, and educating the public.”

Here are some of what they want to lessen the impact of tourism on their precious environment.

  1. The whole package needs to be considered (transport to get here, where people stay, what activities are offered).
  2. Tourism businesses primarily look to attract visitors wanting peace and space.
  3. Activities offered should strengthen the central qualities of the area: quiet, space, dark nights, rich biology.
  4. Noisy activities should be kept to a minimum.
  5. Travel to the islands should be sustainable, not disruptive and match the core qualities of the area.
  6. Continuing monitoring of the impact of tourism and recreation activities on the core qualities.
  7. No buildings for tourism in protected areas.
  8. Buildings etc for tourism to be sustainable, energy and water efficient, and produce a minimum of rubbish.

I’ll try to remember to bring it along to our next meeting. Some fascinating activities on their programme. In the meantime, relax and enjoy our Grampians Gariwerd news.