Since 1999 the aim of the Upper Sûre Nature Park and its communes in the northwest of Luxembourg has been to combine work and recreation in an economically, ecologically and socially useful way. Its area covers more than 162 km2 and it is characterised by deep valleys, wet meadows, steep forested slopes and a high farmland plateau. Strikingly embedded at the heart of this natural low mountain landscape is a 3.8 km2 dammed lake, which supplies about 70 % of the entire population of Luxembourg with drinking water and is seen as an attraction pole for large numbers of visitors. For this reason the Upper Sûre Nature Park is considered as Luxembourg’s water region.
At the beginning of the 1950s the Luxembourg government decided to exploit river water, so-called surface water, for supplies of drinking water. Sufficient water supplies could only be obtained from a dammed reservoir since Luxembourg has no large natural lakes. The narrow Sûre river valley with its rocky banks that give the dam a secure hold were the ideal conditions for creating an artificial lake. The 47 m high arch dam was built between 1955 and 1957.
Today, the Nature Park's offices and information centre are situated near the dam in Esch-sur-Sûre. The Nature Park Centre was once home to a cloth factory whose looms and spinning machines are still set in motion for guided tours to the museum. It is where projects are coordinated that promote environmental, economic, cultural and touristic interest consistent with the countryside and the people who live there. Sustainable development in the service of the region has led to the creation of a large number of products that are already known and liked far beyond the Nature Park boundaries: tea, herbs, meat, cosmetics and spelt products "vum Séi" (from the lake). Restaurants certified with the "Gourmet vum Séi" label always have typical regional dishes on their menu.
Visitors can enjoy the Nature Park in many different ways around the lake. For example on extensive hiking trails some of which reveal some of the centuries-old secrets of the region. With its 42 km shoreline, the reservoir is easily the most important and dominating body of standing water in Luxembourg. A natural history trip on the solar-powered boat accompanied with detailed explanations is the ideal way of exploring the flora and fauna of this biotope.
In 2010 the activities of the Upper Sûre Nature Park were awarded the EDEN Prize (European Destination of Excellence.
The projects of the Upper Sûre Nature Park cross borders of the Nature Park and frontiers with Belgium, Germany and France in excellent European cooperation as part of the network of Nature Parks in the greater region.