QR-ENG-Lille Vildmose

Lille Vildmose

Lille Vildmose covers 7,700 hectares, making it one of Denmark’s largest wild nature areas. It is home to the largest lowland raised bog in northwestern Europe and two of Denmark’s most species-rich grazing forests. Visitors armed with patience can observe large wild animals year round, including otters, golden eagles, white-tailed eagles, red deer, elk and wild boar. The area is also unique for its many small animals and plants.

Vildmosen’s history
The formation of the raised bog at Lille Vildmose, which now has up to six-metre-thick layers of peat, began more than 1,500 years ago.
In the 1760s, at which time the bog had grown to about 6,000 hectares, the lakes Tofte Sø, Birkesø and Møllesø were drained. At the same time, the Vildmosegård estate was established to further cultivate the raised bog.

Today, Tofte Mose is preserved as an original raised bog, while only small parts of the original raised bog are preserved to the west (Portlandmosen) and north (Porsemosen and Høstemark Mose). To the north is a preserved natural forest, Høstemark Skov, which since 1933 has been a fenced grazing forest with a population of about 150 red deer. Similarly, Tofte Skov and Tofte Mose to the south have been a fenced reserve since 1906, with more than 425 red deer that are descendants of the original Jutlandic herd. The animals contribute to maintaining the original natural forest as a species-rich grazing forest. Since 1926, approximately 150 wild boar have also inhabited the fenced landscape’s forests and plains.

Vildmosen today
Aage V. Jensen Naturfond owns Høstemark Skov and Mose, Tofte Skov and Mose, Portlandmosen and Birkesø, respectively acquired for long-term conservation in the years 1988, 2001, 2003 and 2014. Large areas of Mellemområdet, which is owned by Lille Vildmose Naturfond, are also designated conservation areas.

The international importance of Lille Vildmose led to its international listing in 1983 as a bird sanctuary and later as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU programme for Natura 2000 sites. In 2013, Lille Vildmose was designated as Denmark’s first Ramsar site for the climate, where the restoration of raised bog will absorb large amounts of CO₂ from the atmosphere. This designation came in connection with 2011 launch of projects to restore the raised bog in Mellemområdet and to restore the natural water levels in Tofte Mose and Høstemark Mose. Prior to these projects, Lille Vildmose became Denmark’s largest designated conservation site in 2007 (7,600 hectares). As a result of these designations and acquisitions of property, most peat extraction activities have ceased in Mellemområdet. The water level has since risen, red deer and elk have been released into the fenced areas and Birksø Lake has been restored – for more information; please see the signs in Mellemområdet.

Access and public facilities
The fenced Tofte Skov and Mose, as well as Høstemark Skov and Mose, are only open for guided tours by appointment with the Vildmose Centre. However, many excellent opportunities are available for experiencing Lille Vildmose’s magnificent nature from public roads, landscaped car parks and the area’s many observation towers. The map shows the publicly accessible observation towers for bird watching.

Vildmose Centre
Birkesøvej 16
9280 Storvorde
tel. (+45) 99 31 75 50.