Råbjerg Hede

– English

With its 12 km² Råbjerg Hede is a significant part of the vast dune and heath area covering most of Skagens Odde. The current landscapes are a result of the sand drift that raged during an extended period in the fifteen to eighteen hundreds.

Where the sand and the wind reign

Frugal dune peasants used to live her, making a modest living from animal husbandry and the collection and sale of Heather and Lyme Grass for various purposes.

Over time, the vulnerable areas were utilized more intensely, which, together with climate changes, paved the way for the sand drift. The turning point in the fight against the devastating sand drift did not come until the beginning of the eighteen hundreds when a large-scale planting of the dunes with the sturdy grass Marram was initiated.

As a memory of the sand drift, Skagens Odde has many U-shaped wandering dunes, also referred to as parabolic dunes, opening towards the westerly wind. The largest of these is Råbjerg Mile. The long rows of dunes extending in the west-east direction on the dune heath are the ”arms” from old wandering dunes.

From the rugged and poor landscape, a mosaic of natural habitat types developed, from dry grey dunes to dry heather and crowberry heath and wet heath areas. Now, a number of interesting plants and animals rarely seen in Danish nature thrive in these areas.

Plants and animals in the wilderness

At Råbjerg Hede, you will find most of the heath shrubs: Heather, Crowberry, Bog Bilberry, Cowberry and Bog Myrtle.

Some years, the beautiful, azure Marsh Gentian grows in large numbers in the path trails. The plant is in bloom from July to September. Other rare and interesting species include Devils-Bit Scabious, Lousewort and Round-leaved Sundew. Enjoy the sight, but do not pick the flowers.

Bog Asphodel, which is in bloom in July and August, is a characteristic plant of the poor, moist heath. It was once said that the farm animals broke their legs if they ate it. The truth is probably rather that the animals might get brittle bones from grassing only in the lime-deficient heath bogs.

Along the marked walking route, you will have a good chance of hearing or spotting a Crane, Curlew, Kestrel and Cuckoo in the summer months. In April and May, many birds of prey overfly the area on their way to Skagen, which is one of the best spring migration sites in Northern Europe.

Dune heath protected

The entire Råbjerg Hede is preserved. The habitats in the area are protected under EU’s Natura 2000 scheme since the grey dunes and the dune heath are rare habitat types in Europe.

With EU grants, comprehensive nature conservation has been carried out at Råbjerg Hede with clearance of unwanted tree growth and, in certain places, restoration of natural water level. Aage V. Jensen Naturfond cooperates with the authorities to preserve the unique natural landscape.