Cultural Entities 

The marshland at Brede Å and Vidåen

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1. Overview


The marshland at Brede Å and Vidåen


Ribe to the north, Tønder to the south, neighbouring entities Wiedingharde, Sylt, the northern Danish mainland.


Approx. 48 x 10km

Location - map:

South-western Danish coastal area bordering the Wadden Sea

Origin of name:

Not known

Relationship/similarities with other cultural entities:

Embanked marshlands, polders, mound villages as in Frisia

Characteristic elements and ensembles:

The entity is dominated by large embanked marshlands (some of the youngest Danish landscapes) bordered by glacial hills (oldest quaternary Danish landscapes) and sandy outwash plains. The only Danish polder landscape is located here (Tøndermarsken) including the newest polder in Denmark (1982). There are many examples of Frisian cultural elements among others the remains of the most northern Frisian settlement in the Wadden Sea Area (Misthusum in Ballum Marsh) and the largest mound village (Ubjerg). The marsh town of Tønder with many gable houses and bow windows bears witness of the close connection to the Dutch building tradition. The entire area has through centuries been thrown backwards and forwards between different Danish and German kings and dukes and from 1864 to 1920 the area belonged to Germany.

Linear geest edge settlement, dykes, prehistoric burial mounds, sluices, bush groyne fields, ‘west Schleswig’ style farms and houses, railway line.

2. Geology and geography

2.1 General
The main geological elements are the marshlands (polders) stretching like “tongues” between the glacial hill islands and the out-wash plains (together named “the geest”).
During the last Ice Age (Weichsel) the ice cap only covered the eastern part of Jutland. The moraine formations in the western part were created during the second-last Ice Age (Saale) and thus constitute the oldest quaternary landscapes in Denmark. Within the cultural entity Hjerpsted Hill Island is the most dominant example of this type of landscape.
The melting of the ice cap during the last Ice Age created large glacial streams, which washed out over the southwest of Jutland. The low-lying areas of the original moraine formations experienced erosion and were replaced by the deposited glacial sand (out-wash plains). The highest parts of these plains were left as islands (hill islands) and typically consist of moraine clay with a sand and gravel deposit on the surface. The hill islands are often dome-shaped with hillsides (cliffs) against the Wadden Sea (Emmerlev Klev) and against the marshlands (Hjemsted at Skærbæk).
Among the oldest Danish quaternary landscapes you will also find the youngest, the sea-created marshlands. The marshland formations of the Danish part of the Wadden Sea began approximately 3,000 years ago (from south going north). The Tønder marshlands (Tøndermarsken) hold the only Danish example of a centuries old and inhabited polder landscape, similar to those in North Frisia. The first sea dike was established in 1556 (Højer-Møgeltønder polder) followed by dike establishments in 1692 (Gl. Frederiks Polder), in 1715 (Rudbøl Polder), in 1861 (Ny Frederiks Polder) and in 1982 (Margrethe Polder). The northern marshlands were not embanked before the 1900s: The Ballum Marshland (Ballummarsken) in 1918 and the Rejsby Marshland (Rejsbymarsken) in 1925.

2.2 Present landscape

The salt marshes from V. Vedsted to Ballum
This area consists of a number of salt marshes along the Wadden Sea mainland coast, delimited mainly by sea dikes and in many stretches by bush-groyne fields in the Wadden Sea, which are there to enhance the creation of new salt marshes in order to stabilise the sea dike. Between Astrup Banke and the Rømø Dam there are well developed natural salt marsh formations. From the sea dike there is a wide view over the embanked marshlands and the Wadden Sea. The tidal dynamic in the landscape and the coastal protection installations tell a story which is unique for Denmark.
The area holds many cultural remains. Apart from the sea dikes, the sluices and the bush-groynes fields constitute the cultural history of the marshlands from different time periods. Between the Rømø Dam and Astrup Banke a summer dike is recorded (summer polder), which may be the northern part of an old summer dike system in Ballummarsken. The actual dating for this is, however, still lacking. The highest located parts of the summer polder are in rotation with different crops and are perhaps the only area of its kind in the entire Wadden Sea Area.

The embanked marshlands between V.Vedsted and the Rømø Dam
This area is formed by a long marshland between the Rejsby Dike and Toftlund Hilly Island. The area appears as a homogeneous, level and open landscape, without any buildings and technical installations. The villages along the geest edge with their churches clearly mark the border between marsh and geest. There is almost no tree growth, apart from some scrub along the many drainage ditches in the area. The area has a number of artificial lakes in the west as a consequence of clay extraction for the present reinforcement of the sea dike. Several streams run through the area and pass the sluices into the Wadden Sea, e.g. the Rejsby Stream and the regulated Brøns Stream. The area is primarily used for agriculture with permanent grass and cultivated crops.

The glacial hill island and outwash plains between Ribe and Skærbæk
The character of this landscape is dominated by agricultural use, with large farms primarily for livestock. The farms are gathered in long ribbon villages along the geest edge. Many of the villages are recorded from the 1200s and there are several old well-preserved farms. The location bears witness to a thousand year old tradition for the use of two different nature resources in the area: the wet pasture area of the marshlands and the dry arable land on the hill islands. As the terrain is only gently sloping and the fields are mostly only delimited by one row fences on two or three sides the farm land appears open and level. The many landscape elements are in the form of villages with older and newer houses, the varied size of the fields, large farms, wind mills, hedges and smaller woods provide significant variations to the landscape. In contrast, the area around Vester Vedsted differs from the surrounding area with large plantations, woodland and hedges.

The Ballum Marshlands
Ballummarsken is characterised by being a vast embanked, open and level area. It is delimited by the Ballum Dike and the geest at the town of Skærbæk. The area is used solely for agriculture, with intensively cultivated crop and grasslands. The location of the farms, the dwelling-mounds and the summer dike are evidence of the long battle against the forces of nature, creating an evident connection between nature and culture. Other characteristic cultural historical elements are the Ballum Dike (1918) and the water mills by Misthusum (1842).

Misthusum , Ballum marsh: Markmandshuset

with water mills

Hjerpsted glacial hill island
The Hierpsted hill island is characterised by intensively cropped agricultural fields delimited by hedges, smaller conifer forests and a few larger plantations. The peripheral area of the hill island consists of larger fields, where several villages are located. The buildings consists of many large, and often old, well-preserved farms from the 1700s and 1800s, many with large new extensions for livestock. The geest edge has, due to the distinct contrast with the surrounding marshlands, a high cultural landscape value. The area holds many prehistoric monuments, including settlements and especially burial mounds. There are several large churches in the area and a large wind farm north of the village of Hjerpsted. The town of Højer is located on the southern tip of the glacial hill landscape and forms a distinct transition zone to the bordering polders of Tøndermarsken.

The Tønder Marshlands (the outer polders)
This polder landscape is characterised by its plain, wide open features without technical installations, divided by (former) sea dikes and dikes along the large streams (Vidåen) into polders of different ages. The regular pattern of dense drainage and watering ditches, dividing the marsh into rectangular fenlands, is a unique feature in Denmark.

The Tønder Marshlands (the inner polders)
The inner marshlands by Tønder and Møgeltønder are delimited to the west by the sea dike of 1556 between Højer and Rudbøl. The area is characterised by its openness, and its embanked areas with large arable land. The area holds many medieval dwelling mounds. The stream dikes are also important elements in the landscape. These few, but important, elements provide the area with a large scale appearance. There are only a few industrial installations, including a few wind turbines, the high voltage connection from Højer to Tønder and the railroad from Tønder to the border. To the south, the wetlands around Vidåen and Rudbøl Lake form a contrasting area.

3. Landscape and settlement history 

3.1 Prehistoric and Medieval Times

Since the beginning of the early Stone Age, approximately 6,000 years ago, the area was permanently occupied in the form of scattered single farms along the meadow on the geest. The many settlements and burial mounds are examples of this, as at Abterp and Hjerpsted.

The combination of cattle farming in the marshlands and grain-growing on the geest can be dated back to when the marshlands were created in the Bronze Age 3,000 years ago. This fact can be derived from the dense concentration of buildings following the geest edges, but also by the large amount of burial mounds from this period e.g. by Hjerpsted. In addition, where the hill islands reach the Wadden Sea, there has been a dense concentration of buildings since the beginning of the Iron Age. The history of many of the present villages can be traced back to the centuries B.C and several have their origins as single farms in the early Stone Age or Bronze Age. Until the 1000s the villages were often moved around, so continuous building can not usually be traced at the same location, but instead within the same natural resource area, today called association of house owners. In the beginning of the Middle Ages most of the villages settled at a permanent location, whilst the prehistoric villages are often found in the hinterland.

The fertile marshlands resulted in wealth for the area, and despite the difficulties of navigation in the Wadden Sea, contacts with the west European area can be traced back to the early Iron Age. A number of Iron Age burials have been found in the coastal area e.g. Hjemsted by Skærbæk. The trade links are evident both through finds in the burials and at the settlements. The settlement of Dankirke near Vester Vedsted has a special position. Here traces from a manor, which probably played a central role in the 500s and 600s in the trading of luxury goods from first the Roman and later the Frankish area, have been found. In the burials from the 600s and 700s there are also items from the Saxon-Frisian and Anglo-Saxon area.
During the Middle Ages the inhabitants moved from the geest into the marshlands.

In Ballummarsken, for example, settlement took place on small moraine outcrops such as Mjolden, Lunde and Forballum. The later construction shows a change in the use of the mounds, which artificially-elevated natural hummocks. Further out in the Ballummarsken, the village of Misthusum also shows some evidence of early habitation. Misthusum is the most northerly mound settlement in the entire Wadden Sea Region. In the Middle Ages eight mounds were built here, and also a summer dyke, to protect against the less severe storm-surges of the summer season. However, the village was inundated several times during winter times and during the 1700s, the inhabitants started to move onto the geest, and in 1814 the last family left Misthusum. All that remains now are the remains of the summer dyke and the eight mounds, including most of the freshwater reservoir (fething).

The Tønder Polders is the northern part of the large marshlands extending to Husum in Germany. These were inhabited in the Middle Ages. At the location called “Ved Åen” (along the stream) in Møgeltønder Polder ten dwelling mounds, originally located upon the former river levees of the old course of the Vidå, can be seen. In this polder two of the three known wheels in the Danish part of the Wadden Sea Area are located. In comparison to the rest of the Wadden Sea Area the dwelling mounds are both small and recent. In the Danish part, however, it is quite exceptional to have approximately forty dwelling mounds within a relatively limited area, as can be found in Tønder Marsh. Many of the mounds are no longer inhabited, but remain as proof of mankind’s eagerness to exploit the fertile soil.

Dwelling mounds in Ballummarsken and Tøndermarsken

The many channels in the area served both as boundaries and for transport, with cargo carried in flat-bottomed marshland boats. The polders at Tønder, Møgeltønder and Højer were all embanked, with the construction of the Højer-Rudbøl-Lægan-Grelsbøl (now in Germany) dyke in 1556. The effect of this was that the old harbour town of Tønder was cut off from the Wadden sea, although sailing was still possible on the Vidå. In subsequent centuries new embankments were regularly built, moving the coast and the course of Vidå further and further to the west. The polder Gammel Frederikskog was embanked in 1692, Rudbøl Kog in 1715, Ny Frederikskog in 1861 and finally Margrethe Kog in 1982.

Margrethe Kog near Vidaa sluice.

Although all the polders are part of the same development, each reflects different phases of the exploitation of the embanked land. Behind the first embankment of 1556, the field structure is typical of the medieval irregular division of the land. This is largely due to the old tidal gullies, which determined the shapes of the fields. In contrast, the polders of 1662, 1715 and 1861 show very regular divisions of the pasture-land. They were embanked through a charter, tendered and contracted by the Danish king. The contractor could invest their money in dike building and be granted a piece of land in return in the new polder. The pattern of ownership can still be seen today from the gates, which often carry the original initials of the owner.

Tønder – the mediaeval town
Tønder is the old market town of the entity and is first mentioned around 1130. It probably was founded as an anchor- and quay at the end of the Vidå delta and acquired a municipal charter in 1243, which amongst other things provided the town with privileges concerning trade and craft.

The extensive work on embankments and land reclamation in the middle of the 1500s cut off access to the sea, and Tønder lost its importance as harbour town. Nonetheless it continued to be an important trading centre, especially for grain and cattle. Later, trading in lace became very important for the economy of the town, so that Tønder continued to be a significant trading centre right up to the beginning of the 1800s. The historic town layout, with its narrow gable houses facing the streets and the characteristic house plan still dominates the town. Bay windows and portals set in two gated doors are typical. While there are few remains of the old castle, Tønder has preserved several of the brick-built houses of the 1500s and the 1600s. The oldest, apart from the church, is the large grey gabled house on the market square from the mid 1500s, the partially rebuilt watermill (Slotsmøllen) from the 1590s, the grammar school from around 1610 and the Town Hall from the 1640s.

Within this entity there used to be several private manors, in particular around Højer and Tønder. The most notable were the castles of Trøjborg and Schackenborg. The history of Trøjborg can be traced back to the 1300s, but all that remains today are the picturesque ruins of the Renaissance building, which was demolished in the 1850s. The farm buildings from the 1700s and the rampart have been preserved, and give a good impression of the construction of the manor in the 1600-1700s. In contrast, the main building at Schackenborg is very well preserved, but it lost its farm buildings as early as the 1700s. The castle was known as “Møgeltønderhus” back in 1200s, when it belonged to the Bishopric of Ribe. In the 1400s the estate was annexed as a Danish enclave by the Duchy of Schleswig and, with the rest of the Episcopal estate, it went to the crown during the Reformation. The royal general Hans Schack was given the estate in 1661 by the Danish king as a reward for long and loyal service. In the 1660s he commissioned the current main building. The previous outer wall is still a part of the south wing. The current appearance of the main building, with its hipped roof and the rococo ornamentation on the side wings is the result of work in the 1700s. Schackenborg is currently considered one of the most authentic examples of a castle from 17th-18th centuries, and the street Slotsgaden towards Møgeltønder is quite unique, with an extraordinary number of typical and well-preserved houses from the 1700s and 1800s. These were built by the owners of Schackenborg both to strengthen commerce and crafts in the town and as living quarters for the estate workers.

The churches on the Wadden Sea mainland area are almost exclusively Romanesque in form, and date from the 1100-1200s. They are generally bigger than those immediately to the east and are typical expressions of the wealth which the parishes along the marshlands enjoyed in the Middle Ages. It should be mentioned that the church in Brøns is one the largest Romanesque village churches in Denmark and also the best preserved tuff church in South Jutland.

A large part of the wealth in the Wadden Sea Area derives from the fattening of and trade in oxen. The large stone-built stable from 1585 at the farm Solvig by Tønder is a token of the importance of the ox trade; it was probably build to hold the oxen in winter before they were sold to merchants in the spring.
The market towns along the Wadden Sea had a monopoly in seafaring and there were problems with regard to the larger vessels coming all the way into the towns. Therefore, there were a number of outer embarkment places where the goods could be reloaded onto smaller vessels.
In Tønder a sluice by Lægan was established when the 1556 dike was built, and concurrently with the embankment more sluices were established to the west. Seafaring was still important for Tønder, and in 1611 a canal was dug through to the town to allow passage for smaller vessels. Larger ships were put to and unloaded off Emmerlev, later the town of Højer became the harbour place for Tønder. In 1736 Højer was granted a royal charter for commerce and craftwork, thus becoming a so-called “flække” (market town), a type of town particular to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. From the end of the 1700s the town economy stagnated due to a decline in the market for oxen, as well as the war with England in 1807-14 and the subsequent crisis. Several attempts were made to revive trade, but with little success. Today the many well-preserved and protected buildings testify to the town’s status as a market town, including the high medieval church, the vicarage from the 1700s, the merchant’s house and Kier’s House from the 1760s and the mill from the 1850s.

A peculiar industry within the entity was the production of lace. It started slowly in the 1500s, and peaked at the end of 1700s. The big farmers and the merchants of Tønder employed several thousand women and children in the rural areas around Tønder who produced lace in their own homes.

3.2 Early Modern Times
The enclosure movement in the area took place more or less in the period 1762-1800, but not to the same degree as in many other areas of Denmark. Due to the variety of natural landscapes represented (marshes, meadow, arable land, heath and moor) it was more difficult to gather the fields of the single farms. Therefore most farms stayed in the same location as before with the same distance to their many fields. Around 1830 almost all farmers of the area were freeholders. However, Trøjborg and Schackenborg still had copyhold, the last part of which was sold in the late 1800s.
By the middle of the 1700s the golden days for the oxen trade were over and the agricultural industry lost one of its primary exports. This also meant a decline for several of the embarkment places in the area and for Højer as harbour town, which despite several attempts had no success in promoting alternative trade. Lace also lost ground as an export good in this period.

Building style
The entire entity, especially the southern part, is rich in brick-built farms and houses in the ‘west Schleswig’ building style. In the early Middle Ages, churches, castles and manors were brick built, however structures in rural areas were not before the 1700s. This method of building was adopted from the north German and Dutch areas where brick building had been established since the 1600s. In west Jutland coastal areas the brick walls were a distinct improvement, as they were much more durable compared to the mud-built timber frames. A bricked house was also considered superior to a timber-framed house. The bricks were made at small brickworks along the entire coast and the lime produced by lime kilns where cockle and oyster shells from the Wadden Sea were burned.
The Wadden Sea Area, in common with areas further to the north, has four-winged farms which are “inside out”. However, the Frisian style, where the stall and the living quarter are in the same wing divided by a crossways hall, is much more common here than further north. Although the agrarian buildings were influenced by contacts with Frisia, the Haubarg or Saxon house (Fachhallenhaus) are not traditionally found in the area.
The farms are built of dark red bricks with hipped thatched roofs. Above the main entrance is the characteristic gable with a hatch (the arkengaf), which in this area and further south takes the form of a gabled attic. These non-insulated houses are often tiled inside. In some of the houses on Tøndermarsken dating from the 1700s, behind the outer brick wall, roof-bearing posts have been preserved. In the latter half of the 1800s, the agrarian architecture of the area was distinguished by the use of new materials, and the reaction to this at the start of the 1900s through the movements ”Baupflege” and “Bedre Byggeskik”. When the people of Bedre Byggeskik sought the traditions of “the Danish house” they found that the style of building in Møgeltønder was an exemplary model. Today, there are several examples of Bedre Byggeskik along the entire Wadden Sea coast.

3.3 Modern Times
The Wadden Sea coast has undergone comprehensive changes through the establishment of dikes, sluices and dams, regulation of streams and the draining of the marshlands, since the end of the 1800s. The majority of dikes in the Danish part of the Wadden Sea area originate in this period.
In the Tønder Polders, Ny Frederikskog was embanked in 1861, the last polder embanked for agricultural reasons. The most recent polder, dating from 1982, shows a different form of exploitation of the land as the main purpose of the embankment changed from being a way of bringing more land into use to being a way of protecting the inward-lying land. The creation of a reservoir for inland water and a salt water lake for the loss of salt marsh habitats - resulted in a landscape different to that of the polders behind. The new sluice does not allow passage through and thus signals the very end of seafaring for Tønder.
Tøndermarsken is characterized by the drainage work that took place in 1928-30. The landscape was considerably altered by the creation of the embankment along the Vidå stream and the introduction of pumping stations, while at the same time the old wind mills previously used for drainage disappeared.

Pumping station

Today, Tøndermarsken is the only Danish example of a polder landscape where the traditional method of working (in the outer polders) is to a large extent maintained. Also in an international context, the area holds great value with regard to the cultural history and landscape assets.
In the early decades of the 1900s the northern marshlands were also embanked. After the reunion in 1920, the sea dike was built between Vester Vedsted and Astrup Banke. In 1918 the dike from Astrup Banke to Ballum was finished by the Germans. At Ballum Sluice a sluice inn was built and the ferry to Kongsmark on Rømø was moved here from the previous location north of the present Rømø Dam.

Ballum sluice with sluice inn

The Wadden Sea area has never been the centre of large-scale industrial development. As in other parts of the country the infrastructure in the Wadden Sea area was extended in the form of railroads and roads. The Bramming-Ribe-rail opened in 1875 and the Ribe/Tønder-railway in 1887. In addition, several smaller railways were opened, such as the one from Tønder to Højer Sluice (1892), which amongst other things transported tourists to the ferry connection to the island of Sylt. The passenger transport ended in 1935, transport of goods in 1962 and the station buildings were taken down in 1985. Many traces from the railway can still be seen in the landscape between Tønder and Højer.

The Wadden Sea area is a border region characterised by continual changes in the borders and the rulers. The Wadden Sea coast from Ribe and north has “always” belonged to the Danish Kingdom. The coast area south of Ribe is historically part of the Duchy of Slesvig, with the exception of the so called royal enclaves. The Duchy was formerly part of the Danish state, but after the war in 1864 the area was included in Prussia. The new border followed Kongeåen (north of Ribe), but farther to the west, the royal enclaves were compensated, and therefore the area around Ribe belonged to the King.
To increase the “Germanness” in the principally Danish-minded area, the Prussian government began to buy up larger farms in 1896, which were often expanded through purchases. These state-owned farms were leased on very favourable terms to German farmers, who, in return, were expected to take political and cultural initiatives to increase the “Germanness” of the region. Most of these state-owned farms are to the east, and there are only a few in the Wadden Sea region. One example is the farm yard “Røj” at Møgeltønder, which was bought by the Prussian state in 1903, and where the recent main buildings date from 1916. Later the farm was bought by Schackenborg.

4. Modern development and planning

The towns in the area have only been influenced by industrialisation to a limited extent, most obviously in Tønder when in the 1900s many old houses disappeared in favour of new buildings and extensions of older properties. The dock at Skibbroen was filled-in in the 1930s. In 1936 the new military barrack in the northern outskirt of Tønder was opened. In 1940 the new by-pass road around the old town centre was finished. In the period 1900–1940s new residential neighbourhoods emerged, characterised by “Bedre Byggeskik”. In 1963 “the Foundation for The Preservation of Old Houses in Tønder”, in cooperation with Tønder Town Council, bought and restored a number of old town houses.
Today, Tønder has several industrial enterprises of international importance (Hartmanns Fabrikker, Norsk Hydro and the centre of the ECCO Shoes), but the main trade is (cross border) tourism, which to a large extend has turned Tønder into a busy commercial town. More than 30 Folk Festivals have given the town an international reputation.

Border station Rudbøl

In the other towns small industrial areas have developed, e.g. a spinning mill and a slaughter house in Skærbæk and a carpet factory in Højer. ECCO, which moved the last part of its shoe production abroad in 2001, has it’s headquarter in Bredebro.

5. Legal and Spatial Planning Aspects

All the salt marshes and almost all the embanked marshlands are included in the Trilateral Cooperation Area and are also part of Natura 2000. Moreover, many (small) inland habitats like bogs, heathers and meadows are preserved under the national Nature Preservation Act.
In 1988 the outer polders in Tøndermarsken were preserved by law in order to secure both the natural, landscape and cultural historical values. In addition, the preservation regulations of buildings (churches) and ancient monuments (burial mounds) and their surroundings are common features in the rural areas. Preservations and (strict) regulations in urban areas, e.g. medieval town centres of Tønder and Højer have been in place for many decades.
In relation to spatial planning, Denmark is divided into three zones: the urban zone, the rural zone and the summer cottage zone, for which there are different regulations to achieve different objectives and preferences.
In order to protect the coastal zone of Denmark, in particular, a three kilometre wide protection zone from the coastline (outside towns) has been introduced with the aim of keeping the area clear of buildings and constructions which are not related to the coastal position. Moreover, recreational facilities can only be located inside this zone in combination with already existing facilities or urban areas.
It should be mentioned that the official policy states that no new areas for wind turbines -and farms will be appointed, and that renewal of existing wind turbines will only be allowed in the rural zone on special conditions in relation to landscape and cultural features and assets.
From 2007 and onwards the main responsibility of the administration of rules and regulations and the overall spatial planning will be located at the three municipalities. Among other things they will be obliged to map, designate and preserve the main cultural heritage and be requested to take similar actions regarding the landscape features. Apart from this the municipalities already have the powers to issue a “preservative local plan” to protect specific and local cultural features.

6. Vulnerabilities

6.1 Settlement
The structure of the geest edge, hill island and outwash plain villages and farming settlements are sensitive to development which does not fit with the historic settlement pattern and to extensions in new building styles. The historic town of Højer is characterised partly by a uniform building style with old west Schleswig houses with thatched or tiled roofs. The town is vulnerable to major changes which do not harmonise with the existing old houses but the biggest threat is lack of maintenance. The area outside the town centre appears neglected and the houses are threatened by decay and possible demolition.

6.2 Agriculture
The area is vulnerable to agricultural intensification of existing farmland. Further loss of grassland would be detrimental to the original character of the marshland areas, stream valleys on the glacial hill island and outwash plains between Ribe and Skærbæk. Changes to the traditional method of working (in the outer polders) of Tøndermarsken would have a negative impact on the historic landscape.

6.3 Natural conservation
The glacial hill and outwash plains between Ribe and Skærbæk, the marshlands and peripheral areas of the glacial hill islands are vulnerable to changes in historic character resulting from the establishment of forestry plantations. The creation of new habitats e.g. salt water lakes can have a detrimental impact on buried archaeological deposits and the wider historic landscape.

Vesterende, Ballum

6.4 Toursim
Tønder’s success as a tourist destination could put pressure on the cultural landscape of the adjacent marshland.

6.5 Infrastructure
New technical installations would have a negative impact on the cultural landscapes of the area, particularly in the salt marshes and embanked marshlands.

7. Potentials

7.1 Settlement
The rich historic building stock of the areas towns, villages and farms provides opportunities for sensitive adaptation and re-use, to fit the existing settlement pattern and character of the built cultural heritage.

7.2 Agriculture
Agri-environment schemes provide the opportunity to restore and maintain areas of traditional extensively managed grassland, such as the wet meadowland within the embanked marshes, stream valleys of the glacial hill island and outwash plains between Ribe and Skærbæk. Any opportunity to re-instate moorland fields on the Hjerpsted glacial hill island and grassed areas on the inner polders of the Tønder Marshlands would also strengthen the original character of the landscape and illustrate the connection between the cultural historical origin and the natural foundation.

7.3 Management of cultural heritage
The rich cultural heritage of the area provides opportunities to preserve, maintain and investigate features which will enable visitors and local residents to consider, understand and experience its historical development. Examples include the preservation and maintenance of individual bush-groins fields in the salt marshes from V. Vedsted to Ballum; and the archaeological investigation and dating of a possible connection between the summer dike in front of Astrup Banke and the summer dike along Misthusum, which may shed new light on the embankment history of Ballummarsken.

7.4 Nature conservation
The creation and enhancement of wildlife habitats could provide the opportunity to integrate nature conservation management with the cultural heritage in order to derive enhancement and positive management of both.

7.5 Tourism
The areas rich heritage, such as its prehistoric burial mounds, historic landscapes and historic towns and settlements are rich for exploitation through sustainable tourism. Tønder’s identity as the capital of the marshland could be further strengthened in this way.

8. Sources

Author: Charlotte Lindhardt and John Frederiksen
Sources: Lancewad – Landscape and Cultural Heritage in the Wadden Sea Region, 2001 (Mette Guldberg)
1. Arbejdsrapport, Karakteristik af hovedtræk, Kulturarvsstyrelsen, januar 2006
2. Arbejdsrapport, Oversigt over kortlægningsemner. Kulturarvsstyrelsen, august 2006
Maps: Kort- og Matrikelstyrelsen©
Photographs: Charlotte Lindhardt, Kulturarvsstyrelsen©

Cultural environments in the Southern Danish entity:

41: Hjemsted.
42: Skærbæk.
47: Forballum.
48: Ballum Vesterende.
49: Ballum Østerende.
50: Ballummarsken and Misthusum.
51: Ballum-Astrup Dige, Ballum Sluse and Ballum Slusekro.
52: Mjolden.
53: Burialmounds at Hjerpsted.
54: Hjerpsted.
55. Højer.
56: Højer Kanal, Højer Sluse and Højer Dige.
57: Tønder – the medieval town core.
58: Tønder – Vestbyen.
59: Tønder – Leos Allé.
60: Tønder – Ribe Landevej.
61: Tønder – the barracks and Carstensgade with the hospital.
62: Ubjerg.
63: Ved Åen.
64: Farms at dwelling mounds in the polders of Højer and Møgeltønder.
65: Ved Gaden.
66: Margrethekog, Det fremskudte Dige and Vidåslusen.
67: Emmerlev, Emmerlev kirke and Højkro.
68: Skast.
69: Trøjborg.
70: Møgeltønder, Schackenborg and domænegården Røj.
71: Brøns.
72: Zeppelinbasen and Soldaterskoven by Tønder.
73: Nørre Sejerslev, Vrågård and Sønder Sejerslev.
74: Rudbøl.
75: Sæd.
76: The Danish-German border of Sæd.
77: Nørremølle and Gammel Frederikskog