Dune Management in Denmark: Application of the Nature Protection Act of 1992


  • Frede Jensen


Dune afforestation, Denmark, dune legislation, dune management, dune types, European Union for Coastal Conservation, Little Ice Age, sand drift, tourism, threats to dunes


Most of Jutland’s coastline along the North Sea consists of dunes. Primarily due to excessive usage by the peasant population during the Middle Ages sand drift became a catastrophe and the drifting sand covered farmland roads, houses and even churches. Hence from 1539 to 1992, legislation concerning dunes mostly dealt with how to light the drifting sand. Of the different dune types, the grey dune with its crisp vegetation mainly of lichens is the most vulnerable. With the Nature Protection Act of 1992, a more varied attitude towards dune management is introduced. The intrinsic value of the dunes is acknowledged; but at the same time, devastating sand drift must be fought and the public have free access by foot to the dunes. The ecological environment of the dunes is threatened by coastal protection works, damages caused by sand drift, attrition, tourism, and overgrowth with conifers. Of these threats attrition develops with increasing tourism. Attrition is counteracted by appropriate dune management and through information to the public of the proper wav of using the dunes considering the value and fragility of the dune and dune vegetation.