The region surrounding Upper Sûre Lake has more to offer than drinking water and summer beaches.

The Upper Sûre or "Uewersauer" nature park has been developing a fair bit over the past 20 years, and is now hoping to redefine itself in terms of tourism.

The director of the park, Christine Lutgen, said it was the right decision to refuse national park status, as the nature park is a partnership between the municipalities around it. The goals are to encourage economical and social development, as well as encouraging tourism, culture and environmental protection.

Lutgen explained that many local residents had taken on the roles of advisers to ensure the protection of local flora and fauna, citing the example of the Laku biological station.

Farmers have partnered with the Sebes water union in a cooperation project designed to encourage local farmers to use more eco-friendly methods, without affecting their harvests. They are taught to use special techniques and offered specialised training to complete these methods.

87 businesses from the region have participated in these programmes, making up 73% of the regional agricultural sector.

In terms of tourism and culture, the park offers a variety of walking trails and tours, covering up to 700 kilometres in total.

Some are themed, such as the sculpture trail, others circle around the lake and offer fantastic views for hikers.

However, tourism does not come without its problems. Lutgen said they were having to consider what kind of tourist the park should attract, with the majority made up of daytrippers. In summer, a particular issue consists of visitors coming to swim, picnic and barbecue, often leaving their rubbish behind on the lake's beaches.

Littering is an important topic for the park administration, which is seeking to prevent the issue from occurring. This year, they brought in further recycling centres in the more popular areas. In future, food trucks may well be invited to the beaches, to deter visitors from bringing their own food and mess.