Nahe der Natur

Mitmach-Museum für Naturschutz

Nahe der Natur - Museum For Nature Conservation

- Service in English -

 in Staudernheim (Germany).

We are a small but unique museum in Staudernheim (Germany) with a large outdoor area, a sanctuary and a model for modern nature protection with a network all over the world. Here you can find the main information which is constantly updated.


'Nahe der Natur' - the interactive 'Museum for Nature Conservation' is a independent institution (privately founded by the Altmoos family in 2012) which expands step by step both in real life and online. We are always on the move, even in small scales.

The primary focus of the museum is nature conservation, shown from different points of views: from both nature and humans. We show the beauty in nature, we illustrate some surprising facts about nature and we emphasise natural networks and connections: from local affairs to global perspectives We collect rocks, minerals (e.g. agates) and fossils that illustrate the passing time and evolutionary processes. We present small objects from nature, humans and from history that illustrate the special relationship between people and nature. We discuss the issues of nature conservation, the historical relationship between mankind and nature, the issues of our current modern times and perspectives for the future.

We especially support the ‘freedom of thinking’, the 'freedom of speech' and diversity of opinion in all current and environmental affairs, and we combine this with scientific facts and data.

The German word “Nahe” (the name of the river at the museum, see geography below) can be translated as "close to". Therefore “Nahe der Natur” means “close to nature”. But most of us realise more and more that we are deeply involved in nature - Indeed we are a part of nature.  The survival of mankind and living a good life depends on nature - and in return we must choose how we influence nature: Do we destroy or enjoy it?

Therefore we encourage all people to consider the importance of nature conservation. According to the double meanings and interpretations, "Nahe der Natur" is the motto of a small but complete museum in the middle of the stimulating "Nahe"-landscape: - Regionally anchored, but also aligned gloabally.  

Geographical location - ideal for the issues of nature conservation with joie de vivre

The museum is ideally situated as the last house at the edge of Staudernheim (Nahe): a nice rural village (1400 inhabitants) near the recreation area of 'Bad Sobernheim' (1 km) with natural and tourist attractions in the region of the Nature Park 'Soonwald-Nahe'. 35km to the West of Staudernheim is the beautiful town of 'Idar-Oberstein' which boasts the new National Park 'Hunsrueck-Hochwald' and the Nature Park 'Saar-Hunsrueck'. To the East of the museum, the historical town of 'Bad Kreuznach' is only 15 km away, also the famous town of 'Bingen' at the River Rhine (30 km) with the UNSECO world heritage site 'Middle-Rhine-Valley'.

'Nahe' is the name of a small river in the hills of Southwest Germany (in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate), that flows directly through Staudernheim and further to 'Bad Kreuznach' and 'Bingen', eventually joining up with the River Rhine. The museum is located only 100 meters away from the water and the famous ‘barefoot trail’ that runs alongside it. The region around the river 'Nahe' - the 'Naheland' - is very idyllic: with beautiful forests, meadows, rocks, valleys, green hills, castles and traditional villages. This is a wonderful situation for the sustainable development of nature in harmony with culture.

But in this region, there are the same typical environmental problems as in most other rural parts of Europe. Agriculture is increasing,. forests are losing ancient trees. More and more roads, settlements and industries are built, and many large wind turbines are being installed, destroying landscapes and affecting natural ecosystems.

In this context, the region is a model for nature conservation: it includes great chances for a new harmony to be found between nature and culture, and for some new wilderness areas to be preserve. Therefore we provide ecological information and the opportunity to reflect on the protection of nature in our special and living museum - from regional affairs to global interpretations.


At Nahe der Natur, we combine the conservation of nature with local history in a new and unique way. Our natural objects and artefacts (examples from our collection) are located in an old historic sandstone house: very small and comfortable with a homely atmosphere (100m² of indoor exhibition space - plus 100m² in the outdoor hall). We lovingly present some special objects in treasure chests. Many of the exhibits are tiny but powerful in their statements. We call this special indoor concept 'Museolum'.

We combine the modest indoor exhibition with a large outdoor area (7.5 hectares) that includes an old sandstone quarry. Most of the area is a young forest (see below: ‘A Window into Wilderness’). Visitors are able to discover the area via a natural path system (maximum distance 4 km). A smaller and more accessible space near the house is a natural garden (2000m²) which contains a moss garden (the 'mosseum' with the 'mossaic' - 400m²), a small fern garden (the 'fern stage'), a sunny stone and blossom area and a colourful meadow: a paradise for birds, butterflies and insects. All plants and creatures are native in the region. Throughout the area there are some experimental stations, interactive opportunities, information texts, thoughtful poetry and inspiring installations. Everybody is able to recognize the issues of life on a miniature scale.

“Nahe der Natur” is a hands on-museum: there are opportunities for all the senses to interact with our displays. Some things are presented in a humorous and joyful way, suitable to their statements. We are a lively and creative place.  Our institution also combines research and practice of environmental education.

We offer different levels and various perspectives on nature. In our field we provide serious information based on current scientific data, but we also try to stimulate  your fantastical imagination. This is an important basis for a better protection of nature - and maybe for a better world. The museum is a meeting point and communication place to discuss the issues of nature conservation. Humans meet nature - Nature touches humans.

It supports our aims that everyone can enjoy a good drink and a snack (mostly regionally and organically sourced) in our tiny Café. You are able to sit in our yard or in the meadow, communicate with us or other visitors, listen to the birds or watch the world go by.

We are in total both an attraction for tourists and a meeting point for everyone who is interested in nature, from school projects to professional research on nature conservation issues. Most of the offers and texts in the museum are in three languages: German, English and French. This is both a service for our audience in our international larger region and a symbol for the great variety of life, of the people and of nature themes in general.

In our natural context we promote open borders in all kinds - and the disappearance of frontiers, especially the national borderlines. We'd like to overcome each national thinking - We are humans in one boundless world. In nature and humanity we find no borders !

Let's tear down fences and walls - let's open gates and hearts. Come together. We look forward to meeting interested and open-minded people in respect, diversity, peace and freedom from the whole world - our common world and nature.

To this this general issue, we offer our special website in German and in English "Grenzfrei / Borderless". Our idea and vision as "Nahe der Natur" is written in our international call "For nature conservation in humanity without borders" (Pdf with 3 pages in English) - for your free inspiration . The following picture is a symbol (image is not from Staudernheim, it's a view from the alps towards the Lake Constance - boundless and free in Europe. It's one of our favourite places on our larger tours):

Symbolic image - nature without borders: Sunset view from the mountain 'Diedamskopf' (Bregenzerwald) to the Lake Constance, borderless between Austria, Switzerland and Germany. - 'Nahe der Natur' - on tour.

'Nahe der Natur' in Staudernheim: A window into wilderness

The "new wilderness" in the central part of the museum's outdoor area is very special. While it is too small at just 7 hectares to compare to real wilderness (such as in some National Parks) this is an important example of 'Process Conservation': All natural processes, even on the former man-made site (e.g. the post-mining area), are allowed to run totally freely. We have stopped all forms of land use: no forestry, no gardeing, no hunting, no fishing. Only the narrow paths invite visitors to enjoy a wonderful quiet experience in a former wasteland. The area is changing every day. Now we have a new forest with an amazing variety. It has become a small but valuable refuge for wildlife: for animals and plants who have less opportunities to live undisturbed in the normal landscape. 

We are an important addition to the beautiful but managed surrounding landscape. In this way "wilderness" makes sense even on such a small scale. Or should we rather speak of a "window into wilderness"? However, all visitors, children and adults, amateurs and professionals are encourgaged to reflect on nature, and the importance of its protection.

Fields and Standards

We work in the fields of education and science (e.g. research on conservation biology, biodiversity, landscape ecology, energies issues) and in practical applications of the conservation of nature.

'Nahe der Natur' is a small and private museum, totally independent from state agencies, commercial companies or lobby organizations. But of course we are open to anyone and we work co-operatively with many other sites and museums. We fulfil the criteria of ICOM (international museum standards).

Work with us: Job opportunities and exchange of experience

It's possible to help in the museum as a volunteer (without pay) in the spirit of cultural and knowledge exchange. We offer both short stays (a couple of days) or a longer stay, usually between three and four weeks. We offer two single rooms under the roof of the museum where you can enjoy your "Night at the Museum"!

We are a member of WWOOF: world wide opportunity on organic farms - (see the linked website for more details, we are farm number 737). The accommodation and the meals are free, but a dedicated collaboration by the "WWOOFer" is expected. The work takes place mostly outdoors (maintaining the natural garden and promoting the healthy growth of the wilderness) between March and October. And of course you will have free time, too, e.g. for sightseeing, learning or for activities.

We are registered in the same spirit of exchange with 'HelpX' and 'Work away', too - also for indoor help: Combine useful work with your great journey. We welcome peaceful people from all over the world with open minds at our peaceful place. Please note: We are a non-smoking area even outdoor, no pets and we are of course totally drug-free.

We can host only two volunteers at the same time, so you mostly not be working alone, and you can meet another volunteer. We keep a quiet and comfortable atmosphere – surrounded by wonderful scenery and exciting towns nearby.

For requests or for more scientific contacts go to info/email-adress below.

More Information, Visiting and Contact

For more information, impressions and pictures go to 'Overview / Home' and look through our websites (currently only in German, but with many images)

  • Contact us directly in English: (Michael Altmoos). 
  • For information about the team / persons click here: Team (currently in German, but with pictures).
  • Visiting: For tourists and visitors we are regularly open between April and October every Sunday with odd date 11 a.m. till 6 p.m. and every Wednesday with odd date 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. Additionally at other days in the whole year (even in winter) we are open on demand. Also we offer many additional event days. Our adress is: Schulstrasse 47 in Staudernheim (Germany), very easy to find in route maps and navigation systems. For all dates and visitor info (timetable, location, entrance and more) please click Visiting / Besuchen (currently in German).
  • Listen world-wide to our web-music-radio 'NATURADIO':

Follow us on facebook: News and topics around 'Nahe der Natur': "Nature conservation & more humanity" in English:

Additionally, we publish our experiences and aspects of the museum and to our topics in a personal blog 'Nahe der Natur' (in English and German). See you.

Go / Back to Overview / Home (in German) - Our main page / official Links please to: