Prussia was a prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership. In November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19; the Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, a state of Germany from 1918 until 1933. From 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state.
With the end of the Nazi regime, in 1945, the division of Germany into allied-occupation zones and the separation of its territories east of the Oder–Neisse line, which were incorporated into Poland and the Soviet Union, the State of Prussia ceased to exist de facto. Prussia existed de jure until its formal abolition by the Allied Control Council Enactment No. 46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians. In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk, their monastic state was Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany, and, in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, the eastern part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia, a fief of the Crown of Poland up to 1657; the union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries.
During the 18th century it had a major say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a "Lesser Germany", which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia acquired rich new territories, including the coal-rich Ruhr; the country grew in influence economically and politically, became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians; the Kingdom ended in 1918 along with other German monarchies that collapsed as a result of the German Revolution. In the Weimar Republic, the Free State of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. Subsequently, it was dismantled into Nazi German Gaue in 1935.
Some Prussian ministries were kept and Hermann Göring remained in his role as Minister President of Prussia until the end of World War II. Former eastern territories of Germany that made up a significant part of Prussia lost the majority of their German population after 1945 as the People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union both absorbed these territories and had most of its German inhabitants expelled by 1950. Prussia, deemed a bearer of militarism and reaction by the Allies, was abolished by an Allied declaration in 1947; the international status of the former eastern territories of Germany was disputed until the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany in 1990, while its return to Germany remains a topic among far right politicians, the Federation of Expellees and various political revisionists. The term Prussian has been used outside Germany, to emphasise professionalism, aggressiveness and conservatism of the Junker class of landed aristocrats in the East who dominated first Prussia and the German Empire.
The main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white national colours were used by the Teutonic Knights and by the Hohenzollern dynasty; the Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a black cross with gold insert and black imperial eagle. The combination of the black and white colours with the white and red Hanseatic colours of the free cities Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, as well as of Brandenburg, resulted in the black-white-red commercial flag of the North German Confederation, which became the flag of the German Empire in 1871. Suum cuique, the motto of the Order of the Black Eagle created by King Frederick I in 1701, was associated with the whole of Prussia; the Iron Cross, a military decoration created by King Frederick William III in 1813, was commonly associated with the country. The region populated by Baltic Old Prussians who were Christianised, became a favoured location for immigration by Germans, as well as Poles and Lithuanians along the border regions.
Before its abolition, the territory of the Kingdom of Prussia included the provinces of West Prussia.
Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals and plants in their environment. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.
The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.
For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants – of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual – of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.
It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.
It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world; the pl
Thy National Park
Thy National Park is a national park area in Thy, opened to the public on 22 August 2008. It is located in Northwest Jutland, along the coast from Hanstholm to Agger Tange and it spans 55 km north to south and 5–12 km east to west; the total area of the national park is 244 km2. The dune and heath landscape of Thy was selected on 29 June 2007 to be the first national park in Denmark proper. Other national parks have been established later; the governmental Forest and Nature Agency states: "A Danish national park contains the most unique and characteristic Danish nature.... The idea is about improving and strengthening the Danish nature, giving both local and foreign visitors better possibilities to experience and get knowledge about nature, the landscape and the history of civilization." Thy National Park is thus not just a simple tourist attraction. The landscape comprise windy coasts and dune systems, either bare, covered by heaths, meadows or plantations, with a great number of conifers. Low-nutrient wet hollows occur, between this varied coastal landscape, small ponds and lakes can be found.
Remains from the Stone Age Littorina Sea are visible here, in the form of occasional limestone cliffs along the coast or further inland. The drifting sands in Thy have plagued the locals for centuries, encroaching on their lands and buildings, but it was not until around the year 1800 that something was done about it and plantings of various grasses and trees was organized. Marram grass and various conifers was the main solution and the dune plantations are here today as living witnesses to the hard struggles against the forces of Nature; the plantations provided not only protection against the unrelenting sand, but jobs and firewood and with them a whole new fauna could establish in Thy, with red deer and roe deer as the largest animal. Trees and grasses are not the only vegetation in the dunes though; the sandy dune heaths in Thy National Park are a rare habitat in a European context, they are to be protected by law, so they have been a major contributory factor in establishing the national park.
It is a continuous job trying to preserve them from invading flora. The larger animals are grazing excess vegetation, trees are sometimes uprooted and controlled burning is carried out to give the sandy heath a chance; the heath vegetation might look simple to the untrained eye, but is in fact varied, dominated by common heather, sand sedge, marram grass, the edible black crowberry, bell heather and various lichens. The sandy heaths of Thy attract many birds with some rare breeders, such as crane and wood sandpiper and they form a habitat for a variety of smaller animals like the natterjack toad and many insects; the wet hollows in between support quite different plants such as bog bilberry, marsh gentian, cranberry and a variety of sundew. In the northern parts of the park is the game preserve of'Hanstholm Vildtreservat', initiated in the 1930s, it is an area of about 40 km2, dominated by sandy heath and it is in fact the largest connected sandy heath in Denmark. About 60–70% of the preserve is open to the public, except from 1 April to 15 July, when the birds are breeding.
Hanstholm game preserve is home to many species of birds, some rare or endangered in Denmark, including the European golden plover, which breeds nowhere else in the country. In the coastal dunes, beach morning glory and the herb of scots loveage can be found, they are both rare in Denmark, only to be found here and maybe a few unknown spots along the westcoast. Some of the lakes and ponds in or near the preserve are hard water habitats for rare and endangered plants like the water lobelia, many species of chara and rare plants like the slender naiad. Since 2009 several sightings of wolves have been reported from Thy and Hanstholm Vildtreservat, although wolves have been exterpidated from Denmark since 1813. In the autumn of 2012 a dead wolf was found immigrated from the Lausitz-region in Sachsen, Germany. A few wolves might be living here today. Many of the plants in the park are edible or have edible fruits, including blackberries, sea-buckthorns or the seakale found on the beaches, but a few of them are rare and protected, like the scots loveage herb.
Parts of the park have been designated as a bird protection and international Ramsar area, as well as Natura 2000 and various other protections. The cultural history found in Thy National Park is as old as the land itself. At the end of the last Ice Age, when the ice melted and receded, the land began to rise by the process of post-glacial rebound and the virgin grounds were soon settled by Stone Age cultures, their early presence and activities are still visible in the landscape in the shape of dolmens, burial mounds, kitchen middens and organized flint productions. As the land continued to rise from the sea, human activity increased as well and Thy was a active spot, with a thriving culture in the Bronze Ages. We have archaeological evidence from their settlements in the area and many barrows from that period can still be seen in the northern reaches near Hanstholm. An unknown number of the pre-historic remains have been covered by the drifting sands and dunes over the aeons though, so the fact that so many mounds are still visible is an indication of just how active the area was.
The human activity continued into the iron Age, the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, with their own individual traces in the national park with a strong tie to the harsh North Sea. It was at some point during these times that the lush environment around Thy collapsed. For many years th
Conservation is an ethic of resource use and protection. Its primary focus is upon maintaining the health of the natural world, its fisheries and biological diversity. Secondary focus is on material conservation, including non-renewable resources such as metals and fossil fuels, energy conservation, important to protect the natural world; those who follow the conservation ethic and those who advocate or work toward conservation goals are termed conservationists. The terms conservation and preservation are conflated outside the academic and professional kinds of literature; the US National Park Service offers the following explanation of the important ways in which these two terms represent different conceptions of environmental protection ethics: ″Conservation and preservation are linked and may indeed seem to mean the same thing. Both terms involve a degree of protection, but how that protection is carried out is the key difference. Conservation is associated with the protection of natural resources, while preservation is associated with the protection of buildings and landscapes.
Put conservation seeks the proper use of nature, while preservation seeks protection of nature from use. During the environmental movement of the early 20th century, two opposing factions emerged: conservationists and preservationists. Conservationists sought to regulate human use while preservationists sought to eliminate human impact altogether.″ To conserve habitat in terrestrial ecoregions and to stop deforestation is a goal shared by many groups with a wide variety of motivations. To protect sea life from extinction due to overfishing or climate change is another stated goal of conservation – ensuring that "some will be available for future generations" to continue a way of life; the consumer conservation ethic is sometimes expressed by the four R's: " Rethink, Recycle, Repair" This social ethic relates to local purchasing, moral purchasing, the sustained, efficient use of renewable resources, the moderation of destructive use of finite resources, the prevention of harm to common resources such as air and water quality, the natural functions of a living earth, cultural values in a built environment.
The principal value underlying most expressions of the conservation ethic is that the natural world has intrinsic and intangible worth along with utilitarian value – a view carried forward by the scientific conservation movement and some of the older Romantic schools of ecology movement. More Utilitarian schools of conservation seek a proper valuation of local and global impacts of human activity upon nature in their effect upon human well being, now and to posterity. How such values are assessed and exchanged among people determines the social and personal restraints and imperatives by which conservation is practiced; this is a view common in the modern environmental movement. These movements have diverged but they have deep and common roots in the conservation movement. In the United States of America, the year 1864 saw the publication of two books which laid the foundation for Romantic and Utilitarian conservation traditions in America; the posthumous publication of Henry David Thoreau's Walden established the grandeur of unspoiled nature as a citadel to nourish the spirit of man.
From George Perkins Marsh a different book and Nature subtitled "The Earth as Modified by Human Action", catalogued his observations of man exhausting and altering the land from which his sustenance derives. In common usage, the term refers to the activity of systematically protecting natural resources such as forests, including biological diversity. Carl F. Jordan defines the term as: biological conservation as being a philosophy of managing the environment in a manner that does not despoil, exhaust or extinguish. While this usage is not new, the idea of biological conservation has been applied to the principles of ecology, bio geography, anthropology and sociology to maintain biodiversity; the term "conservation" itself may cover the concepts such as cultural diversity, genetic diversity and the concept of movements environmental conservation, seedbank. These are summarized as the priority to respect diversity by Greens. Much recent movement in conservation can be considered a resistance to commercialism and globalization.
Slow Food is a consequence of rejecting these as moral priorities, embracing a slower and more locally focused lifestyle. Distinct trends exist regarding conservation development. While many countries' efforts to preserve species and their habitats have been government-led, those in the North Western Europe tended to arise out of the middle-class and aristocratic interest in natural history, expressed at the level of the individual and the national, regional or local learned society, thus countries like Britain, the Netherlands, etc. had what we would today term NGOs – in the shape of the RSPB, National Trust and County Naturalists' Trusts Natuurmonumenten, Provincial Conservation Trusts for each Dutch province, etc. – a long time before there were national parks and national nature reserves. This in part reflects the absence of wilderness areas in cultivated Europe, as well as a longstanding interest in laissez-faire government in some countries, like the UK, leaving it as no coincidence that John Muir, the Scottish-born founder of the National Park movement did his sterling work in the USA, where he was the motor force behind the establishment of such NPs as Yosemite and Yellowstone.
Nowadays more than 10 percent
Sir David Frederick Attenborough is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitute a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth, he is a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, 3D and 4K. Attenborough is considered a national treasure in Britain, although he himself does not like the term. In 2002 he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide poll for the BBC, he is the younger brother of the director and actor Richard Attenborough, older brother of the motor executive John Attenborough. Attenborough was born in Isleworth, but grew up in College House on the campus of the University College, where his father, was principal.
He is the middle of three long-lived sons. During the Second World War, through a British volunteer network known as the Refugee Children's Movement, his parents fostered two Jewish refugee girls from Europe. Attenborough spent his childhood collecting fossils and natural specimens, he received encouragement in this pursuit aged seven, when a young Jacquetta Hawkes admired his "museum". He spent much time in the grounds of the university, aged 11, he heard that the zoology department needed a large supply of newts, which he offered through his father to supply for 3d each; the source, which he did not reveal at the time, was a pond less than five metres from the department. A few years one of his adoptive sisters gave him a piece of amber containing prehistoric creatures. In 1936, Attenborough and his brother Richard attended a lecture by Grey Owl at De Montfort Hall and were influenced by his advocacy of conservation. According to Richard, David was "bowled over by the man's determination to save the beaver, by his profound knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Canadian wilderness and by his warnings of ecological disaster should the delicate balance between them be destroyed.
The idea that mankind was endangering nature by recklessly despoiling and plundering its riches was unheard of at the time, but it is one that has remained part of Dave's own credo to this day." In 1999, Richard directed a biopic of Belaney entitled Grey Owl. Attenborough was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, where he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences. In 1947, he was called up for national service in the Royal Navy and spent two years stationed in North Wales and the Firth of Forth. In 1950, Attenborough married Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel; the couple had two children and Susan. Robert is a senior lecturer in bioanthropology for the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University in Canberra. Susan is a former primary school headmistress. After leaving the Navy, Attenborough took a position editing children's science textbooks for a publishing company.
He soon became disillusioned with the work and in 1950 applied for a job as a radio talk producer with the BBC. Although he was rejected for this job, his CV attracted the interest of Mary Adams, head of the Talks department of the BBC's fledgling television service. Attenborough, like most Britons at that time, did not own a television, he had seen only one programme in his life. However, he accepted Adams' offer of a three-month training course, in 1952 he joined the BBC full-time. Discouraged from appearing on camera because Adams thought his teeth were too big, he became a producer for the Talks department, which handled all non-fiction broadcasts, his early projects included the quiz show Animal, Mineral? and Song Hunter, a series about folk music presented by Alan Lomax. Attenborough's association with natural history programmes began when he produced and presented the three-part series Animal Patterns; the studio-bound programme featured animals from London Zoo, with the naturalist Julian Huxley discussing their use of camouflage and courtship displays.
Through this programme, Attenborough met Jack Lester, the curator of the zoo's reptile house, they decided to make a series about an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest, first broadcast in 1954, where Attenborough became the presenter at short notice due to Lester being taken ill. In 1957, the BBC Natural History Unit was formally established in Bristol. Attenborough was asked to join it, but declined, not wishing to move from London where he and his young family were settled. Instead, he formed his own department, the Travel and Exploration Unit, which allowed him to continue to front Zoo Quest as well as produce other documentaries, notably the Travellers' Tales and Adventure series. In the early 1960s, Attenborough resigned from the permanent staff of the BBC to study for a postgraduate degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics, interweaving his study with further filming. However, he accepted an invitation to return to the BBC as controller of BBC Two before he could finish the degree.
Attenborough became the controller of BBC Two in March 1965, but had a clause
Jefferson Memorial Forest
The Jefferson Memorial Forest is a forest located in southwest Louisville, Kentucky, in the Knobs region of Kentucky. At 6,500 acres, it is the largest municipal urban forest in the United States; the forest was established as a tribute to Kentucky's veterans, was designated as a National Audubon Society wildlife refuge. The forest offers over 35 miles of various hiking trails, including several which offer views of downtown Louisville. Several discrete usage areas are featured, including the Tom Wallace Recreation Area, with the 7-acre Tom Wallace Lake. Camping and fishing are both permitted. Tom Wallace Lake is stocked with trout and catfish once a year. Tom Wallace Recreation Area features various handicapped-accessible facilities, including a fishing dock and a 1,560-foot -long natural trail, the Tuliptree Trail; the Horine Conference Center is a popular field trip destination for Louisville schools. The forest property is operated as parkland by Louisville Metro Government. A hiking trail, the Siltstone Trail, traverses much of the forest from east to west.
There are several local hiking trails, in addition. Horine features many hiking trails and both the Paul Yost and Tom Wallace Recreation Areas have horse trails. No mountain biking is permitted in the forest at this time, but the low traffic roads and hilly terrain afford road cyclists many challenging routes through the forest and surrounding areas. In 1946, Jefferson County, undertook to establish a working forest preserve in the southern part of the county; the Jefferson County Memorial Forest was envisioned to be 10,000 acres and was named as a memorial to the area's dead of World War II. Since the forest has been redesignated to remember all who served in the armed forces; the original purchases were guided by Paul Yost, appointed as the county forester. Through 1954, some 1,300 acres were purchased. No further properties were purchased until a single tract was acquired in 1965; the next acquisition was not until 1979, from until the mid-1980s, the forest was expanded to about 5,000 acres.
Since acquisition has proceeded again slowly. In the late 1990s, the old ranger station, a former country schoolhouse, was renovated as a visitor and welcome center. On May 30, 2004 parts of the park were ravaged by a tornado, which caused several trails to be temporarily closed. There are some fifty types of trees, including ten species of oaks, a rich flora of wildflowers and seventeen species of ferns and fern allies. A wide variety of animals can be seen, including bobcats, red foxes, white-tailed deer, great blue herons and horned owls. Like many other natural areas in the eastern United States, the forest has a significant problem with invasive exotics, including tree-of-heaven, autumn olive, Amur honeysuckle, Japanese honeysuckle, princess tree; the forest is located in the Knobs region of Kentucky known as the Muldraugh Escarpment. This is a belt of rugged hills lying between the Pennyrile regions; the underlying geology of these hills is siltstone and shale, with the siltstone creating steep hillsides.
The most important of these in the forest area is the Holtzclaw Siltstone, named after Holsclaw Hill. The Parklands of Floyds Fork List of parks in the Louisville metropolitan area List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area City of Parks Valley of the Drums, a toxic waste dump near Jefferson Memorial Forest Jefferson Memorial Forest website The Parklands of Floyds Fork website 21st Century Parks website Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy website
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is a protected national park, located in Sutherland Shire in the Australian state of New South Wales, just south of Sydney. The 151-square-kilometre national park is about 29 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district near the localities of Loftus and Waterfall, it was the third national park in the world. It was founded by Sir John Robertson, Acting Premier of New South Wales, formally proclaimed on 26 April 1879, its original name was National Park, but it was renamed in 1955 after Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia passed by in the train during her 1954 tour. The park was added to the Australian National Heritage List in December 2006; the park includes the settlements of Audley and Bundeena. There was once a railway line connected to the Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line but this closed and was converted to a heritage tramway operated by the Sydney Tramway Museum in Loftus. Audley can be accessed by road, from Loftus, Waterfall or Otford, there are several railway stations on the outskirts of the park.
Bundeena and Maianbar can be accessed by road through the park or by the passenger ferry service from Cronulla. There are barbecue areas and picnic sites throughout the park. Over 100 kilometres of walking tracks take in a wide range of scenery. Cycling is allowed on some fire trails and only on specially marked tracks within the Park; the specially marked mountain biking tracks are bi-directional. A fee of $12.00 applies. The most popular walk is the Coast Walk, which skirts the park's eastern edge and delivers exceptional coastal scenery, it is a 30 kilometre track, involving walking from Bundeena to Otford, or vice versa. It's recommended; this walk is done as part of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The Wallumarra Track was constructed in 1975 to meet the growing need for Environmental Education and as a supplement to the park's walking track system; the park is intensely used for environmental education by schools, TAFEs, universities and other groups. The park has been burnt in bushfires on several occasions, most notably in 1939, 1994 and in the 2001 Black Christmas fires.
Australian native bush regenerates after bushfires and as of 2008 few signs of these fires remain visible. In times of extreme fire danger the parks service might close the park to ensure visitor safety. There are camping sites at North Era and Uloola Falls; these are the only places where camping is permitted within the park, they are regulated with a booking/registration system, which requires pre-booking a site. The park is free for people on foot. Royal National Park contains a wide variety of terrain. Landscapes in the park vary from coastal cliffs broken by beaches and small inlets to an ancient high plateau broken by extensive and deep river valleys; the river valleys drain from south to north where they run into Port Hacking, the extensive but shallow harbor inlet which forms the northern border of the park. When looking across the park from east to west the rugged folds of valley after valley fade into the distance; the geology of the site consists of the Triassic Hawkesbury Sandstone with some sections of the park having the more recent richer Wianamatta shale capping.
Deep below the Hawkesbury sandstone belt lies Narrabeen Shales, mixture of shale and sandstone under which and within which are untapped coal seams which run right through Sydney and are mined extensively where they come closer to the surface south of the National Park near Wollongong. Sections of recent alluvium fringes of estuarine watercourse where the endangered ecological communities. Running the full coastal length of the park is a coastal heathland characterised by hardy, low-growing, salt-tolerant shrubs that spread across rocky, hard terrain with little topsoil; the coast itself is composed of high cliffs reaching a height of nearly one hundred metres at the southern end. These cliffs are punctuated by a number of fine, sandy beaches open to the ocean and providing fine swimming and surfing. Several of the beaches can be reached by road, others only by several hours bush walking. There are a small number of rocky coves; the beaches, two of which have volunteer surf life saving clubs and large car parks, are amongst the most visited areas of the park.
These heath lands are a hotspot for many small birds that have forsaken the suburbs of Sydney such as the New Holland honeyeater. Common vegetation on the exposed heaths on the headlands and cliffside paths include Coastal rosemary, bracelet honey-myrtle, she-oak, white kunzea, grass trees, ridged heath-myrtle, snakehood orchids, prostrate forms of coast banksia and long-leaf matrush. Common vegetation on top of the ancient sand dunes above the coastal path include Silver banksia, scrub-oak, silky hakea and pine heath. Sections of rare and threatened clifftop grasslands occur along exposed and windy sites which are dominated by long-leaf mat-rush and kangaroo grass. Many heath specialist birds are present in the heaths which include Lewin's honeyeater, New Holland honeyeater, beautiful firetail, chestnut-rumped heathwren and the southern emu-wre