Credit: SaveOnEnergy

In its study on nature protections across Europe, energy switiching site SaveOnEnergy revealed that Luxembourg has the highest percentage of designated nature space in Europe. recently analysed almost 80,000 nationally protected terrestrial areas in Europe, calculating the percentage of protected space per country, to discover who makes the biggest attempt to preserve their natural terrene. Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Turkey were removed from the data as the European Economic Area (EEA) does not have permission to distribute some or all sites by the countries.

Thanks to protected sites such as Geopark Mëllerdall and Naturpark Our, Luxembourg emerged as the European country with the highest percentage of protected land (76%). The Grand Duchy is one of the smallest countries in Europe (2,586 km2) and is home to just 134 designated areas, but with these areas covering 1,963 km2, they take first place in the study.

In second place was Slovenia, with 72% of their country’s nature being protected; the country is home to 1,891 designated areas. Malta had the third-highest percentage of protected terrestrial land in Europe. Covering 65% of their land, there are 250 sites to visit. Cyprus (57 designated areas) and Liechtenstein (44 designated areas) placed fourth and fifth, with 56% and 45% of their respective country’s land being protected by legislation.

At just 4%, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the country with the smallest percentage of protected nature in Europe. Although there are 40 designated sites, they only cover 1,922 km2 of the country’s 192,232 km2 of land. Protecting just 6% of their terrestrial land, Romania placed second to last. Despite having many designated areas, these are not widely spread across the country. Completing the bottom five were Serbia, Belgium and Portugal, with just 7%, 8% and 9% of their land protected respectively.

Meanwhile, Germany was home to the most designated terrestrial land, boasting 17,654 areas. Sweden placed in second as 15,254 areas have been protected by legislation in the country. Following in third, fourth and fifth position were Switzerland (10,423), the United Kingdom (9,032) and France (3,812).

On the other end, Bosnia and Herzegovina had the smallest number of protected sites (40), followed by Liechtenstein (44), Montenegro (54) and Cyprus (57).