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Experience Europe’s Wildness, with Purpose

At The European Nature Trust, it is our mission to connect people with nature and the natural systems on which we depend. We believe that through travel, we can responsibly experience Europe’s wild areas, while making a difference for nature’s recovery.
The world is changing. The past year has been a staggering challenge for all; travel grounded to a halt, and the pandemic drew our way of living on Earth into sharp focus, providing a sore reminder that we must preserve the natural systems that sustain us. The European Nature Trust (TENT) and Steppes Travel, through our partnership, have long recognised that in order to protect nature, we must truly appreciate it.
Europe, contrary to popular perception, is a continent that still boasts an abundance of wildlife and wilderness. It is out there, waiting for those adventurous enough to seek it.

Romania has maintained 250,000 hectares of virgin forest in the Southern Carpathians, thanks to the work of Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC). The forests of Romania evoke sensations of mystery and beguilement that only true wilderness can. They bristle with biodiversity; bears and wolves can be seen emerging from the dark woods in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Valea Crapaturii and Rock of the King, NP Piatra Craiului, Transylvania, Southern Carpathian, Romania © Luke Massey

Italy’s Abruzzo National Park is the last stronghold of the Marsican Brown Bear. With populations of around 50 remaining today, projects carried out by Salviamo l’Orso, supported by TENT, are essential to the growth of this vital population. Bears – and even wolves – are most likely seen in Winter, when the first frosts crunch underfoot, and the familiar blanket of snow begins to coat the amphitheatre of the surrounding Apennines. 
Nature-lovers will discover landscapes of stunning natural beauty in southern Spain, where lynx and wolf still skulk the dehesa. Thanks to the work of The CBD-Habitat Foundation and local partners, the Iberian lynx population in southern Spain has recovered from a nadir of 100 individuals to more than 1,000 today, distributed across eight distinct sub-populations. One may find lynx hunting for hare or roe deer in the canary-stroked light of the Iberian winter. To the north, as Spring and Autumn come, Spain’s brown bears and wolves can be spotted. Owing to the work of Fondación Oso Pardo, nature-lovers travelling with TENT and Steppes Travel have an increased chance of seeing their growing numbers.

Brown bear, Cantabria, Spain, © Luke Massey

To ensure that Europe’s wildness has a future, vital conservation work is yet to be done. Efforts are needed in areas that are threatened by illegal logging activity, by habitat encroachment from unsustainable practices, from the illegal wildlife trade, and from human-wildlife conflicts. That is why we urge you, as patrons of wild Europe, to connect with the wildlife we have on our continent, and choose to experience it with purpose. Through our partnership with Steppes Travel, TENT supports the most effective conservation projects in Europe, and those most in-need of our support. All trips through the partnership include a significant donation to local initiatives working to restore habitats, monitor wildlife populations, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, and much more. By engaging with nature, and making sustainable choices to explore its wonder, we can continue to make Europe a wilder place. Join us.

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