Scan Magazine, Issue 113, June 2018

Page 34

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Danish Culture Special

Photo: Lars Gejl

A place where time stands still, but nothing stays the same In the ever-changing landscape of the Wadden Sea National Park, the tidal waters, changing light and continuous flux of migratory birds create new experiences every moment. For summer visitors, the enormous, white sandy beaches, thousands of starlings, and guided walks on the sea bed are just a few of the attractions at the UNESCO-listed Wadden Sea in Denmark. By Signe Hansen

Listed as a world heritage site in 2014, Denmark’s part of the Wadden Sea, the adjoining coastline and small, sandy islands, is a place where change and continuity go hand in hand. Though the whole area oozes stillness and peace, no two minutes are ever alike, explains communication officer Jens L. Hansen. “The Wadden Sea is a place where nothing ever stays the same, and that is one of the great experiences of visiting the area. The tidal water changes the entire landscape, the light changes, and, following the tidal water, the birds and wildlife change, all 34  |  Issue 113  |  June 2018

making for a completely different experience from one moment to another.” In addition to amazing nature, the area also contains a number of cultural and historic attractions: charming villages, historic buildings, visitor centres and museums.

Biodiversity Thanks to the spectacular tidal waters, which turn the sea bed into an open buffet for migrating birds and provide a multitude of transitional habitats for ma-

rine creatures, the Wadden Sea area is teeming with biodiversity. Water birds, oysters and Denmark’s largest population of seals are just some of the many creatures thriving amidst the open sky and sea. But though the area, which became a National Park in 2010, has always been a favoured holiday destination, there is still a certain feeling of novelty to a visit. Maybe it is because the magic of the complex landscape – which, with 145,900 hectares, is the largest national park in Denmark – is not easily conveyed on film and in social media. “When you look at areas such as the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier  Reef, it is self-evident why they are  UNESCO-listed; the wonder of the Wadden  Sea is not as straightforward, but once people experience the amazing nature we have, it becomes obvious. The Wadden Sea actually has a greater bio production per square metre than the rain forest,”

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