Due to the influence of farming activity over the centuries, this region has developed slowly from a natural landscape into a highly-structured cultural landscape.
The visitor is invited to walk or cycle at will through woods and meadows, floodplains and fields – and to discover romantic castles and houses, windmills, water mills and farms in a charming landscape.
Agriculture is still the dominant force in the landscape today. Many farmers are seeking alternatives to the increasing level of technological development and rationalisation. Direct marketing is one good way of offering local products for sale, so farm shops, bakeries and organic food shops sell a wide range of home-produced products.
It is not far from the large cities of the Ruhr area to the “Naturpark Hohe Mark” (“Hohe Mark Nature Park”). This park acts both as a tremendous green lung and as a large recreation area where visitors can experience both culture and nature in close proximity.
The farming landscape of hedges, bushes, small areas of heathland, individual farmsteads and villages provides a change to unbroken expanses of woodland. The landscape takes on a peaceful and gentle quality due to its streams and rivers, e.g. in the Lippe valley, where most of the floodplains are designated as special areas for protection, and in the landscape of streams formed by the Stever, Issel and Bocholter Aa rivers.
Schloss Lembeck (Lembeck Castle) is a highlight for friends of historical gardens and parks. The landscaped gardens at this impressive moated castle are open all year around and offer visitors a memorable experience.