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Chief forester engineer Fritz Wolf and son Christoph Wolf, photo: Monika Loeff
Photo: Monika Loeff
Photo: Monika Loeff
Young trees, photo: Monika Loeff
Photo: Monika Loeff

The Almtal Forest School

Das Historicum Scharnstein
Scharnstein, Austria
  1176 Besichtigungen

The Almtal Forest School was founded in 1994 by forester, forest and hunting educator Fritz Wolf to impart interesting information about the local nature. In its kind, it is Austria's oldest forest school for conveying authentic nature experiences using the example of the regionally typical rural agricultural and forestry family property, which is known by the house name “Herrle”. The forest is managed on an ecological basis, which means that attempts are made to manage without reforestation or large machinery. Two former agricultural buildings, one of them was built in 1814, provide shelter for forest activities in adverse weather conditions. The surrounding daffodil meadows are only mown once a year. In this way, ecological diversity and species richness can be optimally preserved. Knowledge about the historical hay harvest can be imparted and practiced in this flower and butterfly meadow.
Since 1994, Fritz Wolf and his colleague Albert Botka have trained around 1,500 forest educators from Austria and Europe as employees of the forestry training center in Gmunden. Every year, around 150 tours, lasting from half a day to a week, are carried out in the forest school by Fritz Wolf and his family. At any time of the year, anyone interested - from young to old - can take advantage of the offer of authentic knowledge transfer about nature and landscape at the Almtal Forest School. When Fritz Wolf, leaning on his staff of hazelnut wood, looks at the group of visitors in the forest and tells informative legends that imprint facts about our trees and forests in their minds, the group usually becomes quiet. In the forest environment and its special atmosphere, he captivates his listeners with old and new stories about forests, meadows, game and water and immerses with them in the secrets of nature. He tries to administer the “deficiency vitamin N” (for nature) in appropriate doses and shares his many years of experience in nature conservation and in agriculture, forestry and hunting with his guests. “Silvasophy” is what he calls thinking about the past, present and future of the forest. Well-known companies also send their employees to explore the nature of forest sustainability wizh Fritz Wolf. “I only talk about what I do myself,” says the experienced “forest air attendant” in his friendly Almtal dialect. “Bathing in the forest” is offered by the tourism in the Almtal as “Waldness”. The therapeutic effect of forest nature has been documented in many ways and has been practiced at the Almtal Forest School since the beginning.
The Wolf family manages 50 hectares of forest around the forest school on an ecological basis. Sustainable use - even across generations - is particularly important to the Wolf family.
“Believe me, because I experienced it, you will find more in the forests than in the books. Trees and stones will teach you what you will not hear from any teacher.” (Bernhard of Clairvaux)
The greeting from the forest educators is: SEE YOU SOON – IN THE FOREST



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