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Nature


Open Landscape

Nissum Fjord is a coastal lagoon, where fresh water from a large catchment, particularly via Storåen, accumulates in the fjord before it is released and mixed with the salt water of the North Seaat Thorsminde sluice. Seven percent of Jylland’s total area is occupied by Nissum Fjord.

The fjord is a rare and pleasant natural area which we have to take care of. At the same time, it is indeed a completely open landscape where everybody is welcome, provided that you interact with it in a respectful manner in relation to nature, the specific hiking and cycling regulations, and with the knowledge that these trails and routes often run through privately owned land.

The level of accessibility is high since local powers and authorities have worked together within the Nissum Fjord Network since 2006 to make the fjord more accessible via trails, bridges, shelters, bird watching towers, and information boards.

Dewatering

Nissum Fjord is divided into three basins - Bøvling Fjord, Middle Fjord, and Felsted Kog - which collectively cover an area of 65 square kilometres. The average depth of the fjord is approximately 1 meter, and the maximum depth in each basin is 2-2.5 meters.

The area of Nissum River Basin exceeds 1600 square kilometres. The majority of the fresh water of the fjord is supplied via Storåen to the southernmost basin, Felsted Kog (pictured). Therefore, the salinity level between the basins differs significantly, allowing variations in plant and animal life in and around the fjord.
In the 1800s farmers and various companies attempted to drain parts of Nissum Fjord and convert it to farmland due to the low water level. However, powerful storms prevented these plans, and remnants of dikes can still be seen in Felsted Kog. The Thorsminde sluice, the pump houses, and dikes are still useful today for draining farmland around Nissum Fjord.

In some places the land is cultivated all the way down to the water edge, while the meadows are only suitable for grazing with cattle, horses, and sheep. The grazing keeps the height of bushes and reed beds down, which is beneficial to the nesting sites of endangered meadow birds.

Close to Nissum Fjord

Nissum Fjord represents one part of the fjord landscape along the west coast. Only a narrow spit of sand dunes and the Thorsminde sluice separate the fjord from the North Sea. Visitors who drive along the dunes on the coast road consider the fjord and meadows as a large area often full of birdlife. Stopping along the fjord or taking one of the local guided tours opens up a diverse natural and cultural landscape characteristic of the entire Nissum Fjord.

In the flat landscape surrounded by the clear, high skies, the strong forces of nature – wind, water, and sand – always put on a display of power. Just look at the impressive Bøvling dune, the wet salt marshes, and the many wind turbines. The various interactions of nature’s give place to a new experience every day at the fjord. Yesterday, it was perhaps windy, causing white foam crests to form on the waves, while kite surfers were flying through the air at Thorsminde.
One of the rare plants you can find here is the purple orchid.

Today, the fjord’s landscape might be mirror-like, attracting recreational fishermen with nets deployed from their small boats. Tomorrow, the north end – Bøvling Fjord – might be exposed to such high winds that the water level becomes so low that thousands of wading birds will be seen rummaging the brown fjord bottom.

The Birds

Nissum Fjord offers a highly diverse birdlife and is of international importance to ducks, geese and waders which roost here on the migration route between northern and southern Europe. Geese, ducks and swans together with herons, marsh harriers and cormorants, represent the typical bird species found at the fjord. However, ornithologists also come here to see bitterns and the rare meadow birds such as ruffs, sandpipers, godwit

Nissum Fjord offers a highly diverse birdlife and is of international importance to ducks, geese, and waders which roost here on the migration route between northern and southern Europe. Geese, ducks, and swans together with herons, marsh harriers, and cormorants represent the typical bird species found at the fjord. However, ornithologists also come here to see bitterns and the rare meadow birds such as ruffs, sandpipers, godwits, and Eurasian dotterel.

Some of the migratory birds may be killed during the last months of the hunting season. However, at that time, most of the locally breeding birds have already migrated to the south. Hunters also limit the number of foxes, raccoon dogs, and minks not in captivity, all of which fiercely target breeding birds.

With respect to the rare bittern, as well as other birds, reeds are only harvested between November and February. Fjandø, located in the south of the fjord, is a protected breeding ground particularly for costal birds such as seagulls, terns, and avocets.

Nissum Fjord 2014  |  Stabyvej 73  |  6990  Ulfborg  |  9749 5241  | info@nissumfjord.dk