The Nature Park covers the largest segment of Ramat Hanadiv, spreading over approximately 1,125 acres of typical natural Mediterranean vegetation combined with planted pine and cypress groves.
The Nature Park was designed to preserve the diverse indigenous landscape, and the physical and cultural character of the area, as well as to restore flora, fauna, natural landscape and sites that have been damaged or destroyed. This restored habitat is open to researchers, students and the general public for study and leisure.
Planning and management, required to ensure optimal conditions in the Nature Park, are based on ongoing research.
Prior to the establishment of the Park (in 1984), there were proposals to use the area for several purposes, among them a botanical garden for biblical and other vegetation and as a national physical education centre. The Jewish National Fund, which managed the Park in the 1970s, had planted pine and cypress groves over 18 per cent of the area. The concept of turning the site into a park, open to the public without charge, evolved in the mid 1980s when the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel joined forces with Yad Hanadiv, the Rothschild Foundation.
Very little was known at that time about the area and its ecosystem. In order to establish a sustainable approach for development, a study was made in the mid-1980s and four pillars established which guide our efforts to this day:
1) Research to obtain basic knowledge about the ecosystem of Ramat Hanadiv and understand its processes; this is seen as necessary precursor to developing any management or educational programmes.
2) Archaeological Excavations and uncovering of ancient sites throughout the Park
3) Infrastructure for Hiking. A network of trails was created, leading to the main points of interest. All trails are circular - beginning and ending at the Visitors Pavilion. The hiking trails are geared to various skill levels and are all clearly marked; maps and tour booklets are provided for all the hiking trails.
4) Active Management. The Nature Park management seeks to conserve and nurture diverse habitats to support rich and attractive biodiversity. In order to achieve these goals, various management operations have been carried out in the Park since its early years, including the introduction of cattle and goat grazing, manual shrub clearing, fencing to protect rare plant species and reintroduction and re-stocking of endangered animals.