Proposed features/Nature reserve

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Nature reserve
Proposal status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: Firefishy
Tagging: leisure=nature_reserve

Draft started:
Proposed on: 2008-02-xx
Status details
leisure=nature_reserve is documented, and perhaps largely accepted


A nature reserve (natural reserve, nature preserve, natural preserve) is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. (wikipedia)


The initially proposed tag was natural=reserve

There were a number of discussions (below) about appropriate tags.

More recently documented as leisure=nature_reserve


This never went to any kind of vote, but the tag leisure=nature_reserve got documented in December 2009 and is perhaps largely accepted. At least there were no screaming objections raised. There have so far been no new proposals to change that tag (the next logical step if further discussion is desired)


Currently, nature reserves are being rendered as just the name. I would like to see it that at least the area get rendered differently from its background. BlueSpecs/Philip Young

Maybe the type of reserve and its legal status should be considered in this proposal. E. g., in Germany there are national parks ("Nationalpark"), restrictive nature reserves for conservation of plant/animal species or endangered ecosystems ("Naturschutzgebiet"), landscape conservation areas where there are restrictions towards some forms of land use ("Landschaftsschutzgebiete"), small-scale protected areas for old trees, rock formations and so on ("Naturdenkmal") and others. This could be achieved by a type-tag (contents would depend on national legal situation) and maybe a list of special restrictions ("fishing=no" etc.) relevant to the map user. --Ulf Mehlig 13:20, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

The idea is good, nature reserves aren't always open for leisure activities, but a reserve is not a physical thing. This should be proposed under landuse=nature_reserve. --Skratz 18:46, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

landuse=nature_reserve in combination with a tag indicating what type of reserve as well as is there are restrictions connected to the reserve. For example some islands off the coast might be protected for birds nesting there, and during a couple of months landfall on these islands might be prohibited. I can think of the following types: landscape, animals, birds, fauna (plants), climate. Also in some countries (such as Brazil) have different levels of law protecting such reserves (federal, state, municipal). At the moment I have tagged one such with boundary=national_park but it doesn't really give room to tag this as a state protected park. --Skippern 18:57, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
you mean, something like landuse=nature_reserve + a country-specific "legal_status=*" tag (or sub-key?)(legal_status="Naturschutzgebiet", legal_status="Reserva Extrativista", legal_status="National Park") + an informative, free-style conservation_purpose=*" tag (conservation_purpose="bird rookery", conservation_purpose="mangrove ecosystem", conservation_purpose="rock formation,endangered plant species") + restrictions tags ("hunting=no", "access=no"; sub-key to legal_status=*?), and maybe admin_level=0-10 (according to boundary) to specify the responsible administrative/legislative level in a standardised way? --Ulf Mehlig 16:09, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
What I meant was that in addition to landuse=nature_reserve we could use a nature_reserve=fauna to give indication of what is protected and legal_status=state for what level of organization protects the status. Might even add a legislation=State Law 1234 of 2008 to identify the law or legislation that protects the given park. Last tag is of course voluntary. conversation_purpose=* sounds like a good idea, hadn't thought about that one. --Skippern 03:51, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Nature reserve orthogonal to landuse type

I also think that the tag for nature reserve should be orthogonal (independent) of the landuse. Often nature reserves cover forest/wood (natural=wood), free areas or water in a mixed way. Rendering this is not possible without independent tags.

BTW, just noticed today that the current renderer implementation is quite contradicting. If an area of natural wood contains a smaller area of nature reserve inside (relation multipolygon), there are two possibilities:

  • Tag the inner area with leisure=nature_reserve only: Osmarender does not know this tag and renders free area. But Mapnik renders the nature reserve area.
  • Tag the inner area with both leisure=nature_reserve and natural=wood: Osmarender renders at least the inner wood area. But Mapnik renders a free area (confused by both tags?).

So I would like to improve this somehow. Is one of the renderers to blame, or is it also due to the current restricted tag definition?--Rs 18:39, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

To achieve this orthogonality and for consistency with national parks, why not boundary=nature_reserve? Robx 09:47, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
For me OK and reasonable. However, the renderers might have difficulties to render this, as it requires intersection checks (as opposed to an orthogonal area tag). Are national parks rendered like this?
I propose to align on results of the parallel proposal for land conservation areas (Proposed features/conservation). It should have the same questions.
BTW, meanwhile Osmarender is able to render NRs. However, Mapnik still renders inner multipolygon areas with NR+natural=wood as blank area. Created OSM trac ticket #1498 for the latter.
--Rs 22:58, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Reserve is not natural

I think that things with a tag of nature are things that occur naturally, like woods and rivers. A nature reserve is a land-use designation, so landuse=nature_reserve should be used instead. — Val42 16:16, 10 December 2009 (UTC) Val42

Please see #Status. For further discussion of the best tag for this, please link to a new proposal from here and from the established tag document leisure=nature_reserve