Shaping Park identity: Exploring how Sense of Place and co-creation can unlock a Park’s potential

About the webinar

Europe’s Parks and Protected Areas harbour more than just precious biodiversity. It is in these places that natural heritage and history come together to shape unique landscapes. These landscapes are influenced by the natural processes and the people that live in them, and there are many thrilling stories waiting to be discovered.

So, how can you harvest this ‘uniqueness’ and create a coherent identity for your Park and Protected Area? How can this identity influence the design, communications and (tourism) offers of your area? This webinar featured the case study of National Park Weerribben-Wieden in The Netherlands, where a ‘Park Identity’ was developed to shape a new marketing campaign. It was presented by the Park’s Area Developer Nicolette Bolté.

Please note, originally this webinar was supposed to have a second case study by Poul Høilund, architect and founding partner at NORRØN (DK). Poul would have presented how developing a clear identity can form the basis for long-term experience and infrastructure development in a National Park, drawing from NORRØN’s extensive partnership with Nationalpark Skjoldungernes Land. This identity serves not only to brand the National Park but also guides future development projects. Much to both Poul’s and our regret, he had to cancel, but we are looking for an alternative way to present this case study. In the meantime, we welcome you to check out pages 26 – 27 of the 2023 edition of EUROPARC’s annual journal “Protected Areas In-Sight”. Here you will find an article written by Poul’s colleague Karen Lilleør on NORRØN’s work.

During the webinar, we asked participants who they would involve in an identity creation process:

The clear, and unsurprising, winner are local communities. The people living in and around Protected Areas are of course an essential element of an area’s identity. Involving both younger and older generations furthermore insures that a good ‘bandwith’ of experiences is covered. How do younger people look at the Protected Area? How does this differ from older generations? What storie do they harbour, connected to the area?

Get to know our case study:

‘Good to see you here!’: the creation of a national campaign in National Park Weerribben-Wieden

Nicolette Bolté, area developer at NP Weerribben-Wieden (NL)

In 2023, National Park Weerribben-Wieden in the Netherlands launched a new promotional campaign: ‘Good to see you here!’ to attract quality, year-long visitors. The campaign was shaped after an intensive process with stakeholders to create the regional identity of the area. In the webinar, participants were able to learn more about how this overarching approach towards a ‘brand identity’ was developed and implemented.

Get Nicolette’s presentation here

Get to know our speaker:

Nicolette Bolté, area developer at NP Weerribben-Wieden (NL)

Nicolette works as an area developer for the National Park Weerribben-Wieden, with the Marketing and ‘Experimental Gardens’ portfolio. She is also a marketing lecturer at the Tourism Management course at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. She combines the expertise from these two roles to help shape the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. With a focus not only on visitors, but also on residents and businesses with the challenge of constantly seeking a balance between nature, liveability, and economy.