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Welcome to Lille Vildmose

A unique Danish landscape
Lille Vildmose encompasses Høstemark Forest to the north, Tofte Forest and Bog to the south, and in between the Central Area and important coastal areas. It is the largest protected region in Denmark and covers 7,600 hectares.

Tofte Bog is unique: it is the largest and best preserved raised bog in North West Europe. The forests of Tofte and Høstemark are like nothing else in Denmark’s countryside. They are bright and open with a variety of marshy sections, arid plains and natural woodland. Today, red deer, roe deer and wild boar (only in Tofte Forest) share the land with a huge variety of other animals and plants, which are the result of centuries of grazing by large animals.

The Central Area is in the process of being re-established as a raised bog. The discontinuation of peat extraction and the restoration of the natural water level create conditions for the new formation of raised bog. Over the next 10-15 years, cattle will cease to graze, and will be replaced by red deer and moose.

The natural qualities of its raised bogs, grazed woodland and the bright, open, wet countryside make Lille Vildmose so unique that it is internationally listed as an EU-protected Natura 2000 site. The scale, natural dynamics and diversity of the area are crucial. Lille Vildmose was also the first place in the world to be protected by the Ramsar Convention for its capacity to bind tons of carbon dioxide in new turf, thereby helping us all by counteracting climate change. Today, fewer than 1% of Denmark’s raised bogs are preserved, and this type of landscape is one of the most endangered in the world. Currently, more than 50% of Denmark’s remaining raised bog is to found in Lille Vildmose.

 

Unique biodiversity
The presence of red deer, moose, roe deer and wild boar in Lille Vildmose creates living space for other forms of life. They graze and chew trees and bushes, they root in the soil and leave behind their excrement. This has all led to a unique degree of biodiversity. In Tofte Forest alone, more than 10,000 species of flora and fauna have been recorded. The red deer in Tofte Forest and Bog represent one of the last populations of indigenous Jutland red deer, who immigrated here after the last Ice Age about 11,000 years ago. Tofte Forest and Bog are also home to Denmark’s largest population of fenced-in wild boar, which were released into the wild in 1926. The first moose were released in the Central Area in 2016, where they thrive on young willow and birch, thereby preventing overgrowth.

 

Rare animals – easy to spot!
2-3 golden eagle couples breed in Lille Vildmose. There is no better place in Denmark to spot them. This is also a permanent nesting place for the white-tailed eagle. The tallest bird in Europe, the crane, has become a natural part of Lille Vildmose, and whooper swans have also started to breed here. Large flocks of rare bean geese and whooper swans from Scandinavia and Russia spend the winter in Lille Vildmose. You can see these huge flocks every evening when they gather at Tofte Lake, where they spend the night. From the Tofte Lake Tower, you can also see the cormorant colony on the opposite shore of the lake, and maybe even the otters, who are very active during the day.

In 2018, when Birkesø lake re-emerges, otters, birds and other creatures will gain even more attractive habitats, which we will be able to observe from new parking areas, paths and the Birkesø Pavilion.

 

Discover the boggy landscape
Lille Vildmose features magnificent experiences for everyone – from roads, paths and countless observation towers. There is safe access for visitors with walking difficulties to Tofte and the Toftesø Tower, and to the boardwalk in Portland Bog.

The Vildmose Centre at Birkesøvej 16, 9280 Storvorde is an excellent place to start a visit. The Centre also organises guided tours to the closed areas in Høstemark Forest and Tofte Forest.