The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany.
The Harz National Park is recognised by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) as a national park. To achieve that, according to the rules, at least 75 per cent of the area must be set aside as a natural biodiversity zone (core zone). In this zone nature must be left completely to itself. If this proportion is not achieved the region can be classified as a so-called developing national park, if it is assessed as fulfilling these conditions within 30 years.