In order to receive the badge “Danske Naturparker”, an applicant must send in a collective application to the Danish Outdoor Council, which among other things, must clarify how ten criteria are met:
- A minimum of 50% of the nature park’s area must be preserved nature.
- The nature park must have a precise geographic boarder.
- The nature park must have an administrative responsible employee.
- The nature park must have a nature park council.
- The nature park must procure the necessary economy for operations and development, as well as their realisation of the nature park plan.
- The nature park and its boarders must be a part of the municipality plan or an addition to this.
- The nature park must be anchored locally through resident participation processes.
- There must be coordinated communication of the nature park for both Danish and international visitors.
- The nature park must have at least one ranger attached.
- There must be an approved nature park plan and this must be politically passed.
Applications are assessed by the national committee, which consists of relevant stakeholder organisations, authorities, and professionals. The Danske Naturparker badge is awarded for a period of five years at a time.
The national committee today consists of the following authorities and organisations: Ministry of Environment of Denmark, Local Government Denmark, the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, Danish Regions, University of Copenhagen (Forest & Landscape Denmark), Landsforeningen for Bygnings- og Landskabskultur (the national association for building and landscape culture), Danske Turismefremme (Danish tourism promotion), Natural History Museum in Aarhus, the municipal Park og Naturforvaltere (park and nature administrators), as well as the Danish Forest Association and Danish Agriculture & Food Council as observers.
The nature parks are anchored in the municipalities, whether as part of the municipality plan or as an addition to this. That is that the nature parks are more locally anchored than the Danish national parks, which are connected to the state through the national park law. The Nature parks are anchored in the municipalities and to the transverse negotiations and voluntary participation from the local actors.
A nature park with a badge will not lead to any restrictions or limitations for the plot owners or residents. The voluntariness is a keyword in the nature park work – possible initiatives on private properties will only happen as a result of volunteer agreements between the municipality and the plot owner.
The badge arrangement Danske Naturparker is developed with support from the Nordea Foundation.