Thurauen Nature Centre
The Thurauen Nature Centre is a programme of the PanEco Foundation on behalf of the Canton of Zurich. For more than 10 years, the nature centre has been the gateway to the largest floodplain conservation area in the Swiss Plateau – and therefore the place to go for any information about the Thurauen floodplain, revitalisation and the conservation area. On our guided tours, at our events and through the rangers in the area, we raise awareness among visitors about the protection of the floodplains and about a sustainable lifestyle.
What we want to achieve
Long-term preservation of intact ecosystems and biodiversity in Switzerland – especially floodplains and their inhabitants – and a society that lives sustainably.
What we are doing
The Thurauen Nature Centre is the place to go for any information about the Thurauen floodplain conservation area, the renaturation of the Thur and various excursions in the area. The nature centre’s interactive exhibition with the adventure path through a small floodplain forest informs visitors about the floodplain conservation area and its inhabitants and raises awareness about their protection.
We teach people about biodiversity and the need to protect floodplains as well as about renaturation. In addition, we make our visitors appreciate nature and, through lasting experiences, we help ensure considerate interaction between people and nature. To achieve this, we offer a wide range of guided tours in the centre, excursions to the Thurauen floodplain and public events for different target groups.
Thurauen floodplain ranger service
Our rangers are out and about in the Thurauen floodplain almost every day – both in the area of the Canton of Zurich and the Canton of Schaffhausen. The ranger team gives information about the renaturation project and about flora and fauna to people looking for recreation and checks compliance with the protection ordinance.
Floodplains are the ecosystems with the highest biodiversity in Switzerland. They also provide valuable services to society, for example by mitigating flood peaks, regulating the climate and providing a popular place for recreation and leisure. However, most of Switzerland’s floodplain areas were damaged or destroyed in the 19th century by river corrections such as fortifications and straightening. Many animal and plant species disappeared as a result. As a result of the 1992 floodplain protection ordinance, Switzerland’s most valuable floodplains are now under protection and are being enhanced. This also includes the Thurauen floodplain. With an area of around 400 hectares, it is the largest floodplain conservation area in the Swiss Plateau. The Thurauen floodplain is not only a valuable conservation area, it also provides an ideal starting point for environmental education.
Many children rarely come into direct contact with nature. Lasting experiences of nature have become rare, so children rarely feel part of nature. But an old maxim says that you only protect what you love. This is where we come in. As a recognised extracurricular place of learning, we help people experience nature. We infect children and young people with our enthusiasm for animals and plants. In this way, we encourage them to recognise the value of nature and inspire them to use our resources sustainably. In addition to offering guided tours, project weeks and workshops, the nature centre’s school programme also includes teaching materials and a teaching aid on the topic of floodplains.