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The national park (244 square kilometres) covers Thy’s western coastline by the North Sea. The characteristic and unspoiled dune heaths have been created by the sea, wind, salt and sand. Large plantations and some of Denmark’s cleanest lakes complete the picture of Denmark’s largest wilderness area. It is a perfect place for plants, birds, animals and humans who enjoy vast open spaces, high skies and lots of fresh air. Places that match the extent of the dune heath in Thy can only be found in few other places in Europe.

Nature experience

Everywhere you look, nature displays signs of the wind and the rough environment. You can enjoy an unforgettable nature experience by hiking between the leaning, crooked, wind-shaped trees or staying overnight in a shelter listening to the roar of the waves. The national park offers plenty of fresh air and no crowds. A vast number of hiking and biking trails are described and shown on maps available in the hiking folders of the Danish Nature Agency.

Animals and plants

There are several lookout towers and points near the hiking trails that offer an opportunity to watch animals and birds, especially if you bring your binoculars. Thy National Park has got a large population of red deer and roe deer. You may also be lucky enough to hear and see cranes breeding in the open areas. The plantations are dominated by pine and spruce trees. Hardy plants that are able to live in the low-nutrient sand and wet hollows are growing in the dune heath, including crowberry, bog bilberry, heather and willow.

History of civilization

The powerful forces of nature have always been of great importance for the life of the people of Thy. During several time periods, sand drift has damaged cultivated areas and forced the inhabitants to move. Beach grass and trees were planted as protection against the sand, making up the national park’s large plantations today. Formerly, fishing was only done from the beach in small boats – at a high risk of loss of human lives. Therefore, it was a significant improvement when the lighthouse and lifeboat services were developed in the area during the 19th century. Lighthouses and sea marks were built, still towering over the landscape along the coast. Today, all trade fishing takes place from the modern port of Hanstholm. However, in the villages along the seashore, you can still meet anglers setting out in their boats to catch crabs or plaice.

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Protected Areas in Denmark

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