1. Cure and Healing Forest

Healing forests: Healing forests are wooded areas, which are suitable for the therapeutic use in specific medical indications. Treatments accompanied by trained therapists in the forest are able to positively affect the treatment of diseases as well as the extent of the disability caused by this illness (tertiary prevention). Chronic diseases can be treated so as to mitigate the symptoms.

Cure forests: Cure forests are wooded areas which, due to their various properties, are suitable for promoting health and well-being across a broad spectrum. Spending time in cure forests helps prevent the aggravation, the recurrence and the chronicisation of diseases (secondary prevention).

Trail network: Trails of low, medium and high strenuousness, integrated health stations for visitors’ own activities, one section of the forest has been laid out to be completely barrier-free.

Sponsors: Bäderverband Mecklenburg –Vorpommern e.V., supported by the state government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and funded by the European Union via the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD).

Conditions: Unique combination of forest and maritime climate (“sea breeze”), dust-free and low allergene air, enriched with essential oils, mild yet stimulating climate

Start of building:

Size of the forest area:
187 ha

With the project of the Bäderverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns (2015) “Development of the forest as a natural resource to create a cure and healing forest for use as a therapeutic agent and its marketing”, for the first time health and recreational resorts receive the opportunity to designate especially suitable and specially adapted cure and healing forests. Heringsdorf municipal authority took a leading role in the implementation of this project. Formal handover of notification of EU’s funding approval in Heringsdorf on 14 March 2016 by the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection Dr. Till Backhaus, implementation of project started on 15 Aug. 2016. The development of a total of 187 hectares of woodland took into account historical use. As early as 1900, the unique combination of forest and maritime climate was highlighted in local brochures. The dust- and allergene-free air, the play of light and shadow as well as the mild yet stimulating climate with changing bioclimatic intensity (“sea breezes”) promote holistic well-being for body, mind and soul.

Heringsdorf forest has a dense, well marked trail network, which, due to the varied topography, offers a variety of degrees of difficulty and length: Trails of low, medium and high strenuousness are available, accompanied by 35 information panels and pictograms which encourage visitors to perform their own physical and meditative activities. The areas between the Heringsdorf train station, the railway line and the Präsidentenberg hill are designated as forest areas. The designation of healing forest is awarded to wooded areas that are particularly suited to facilitate the discovery and experience of the forest by individuals as a kind of “open air health studio”. The integrated healing forest stations and trails are mainly geared towards the needs of rehab patients, to chronically ill persons and senior citizens, but are available to all visitors to the forest. A visit to the Heringsdorf cure and healing forest promotes the strengthening of the cardiovascular system, has a positive effect on the respiratory system and is particularly recommended for persons with general exhaustion conditions, skin diseases, disorders of the musculoskeletal system or persons at increased risk of psychosomatic diseases, e.g. burnout, insomnia, depression.

Video on the cure and healing forest

The forest is accessible to everyone, a designated forest section is laid out to be barrier-free. By developing the specific health-promoting effect of the Heringsdorf coastal forest, the municipality is defining a new, natural setting for health, well-being and quality of life all year round. The forest project is characterised by the linking of different areas, such as nature, tourism, medicine, education with as yet unimagined and long-term possibilities.

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