The marsh area

The barrel marsh is a quite unique landscape, with a beautiful nature and a rich plant and bird life.
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marsh Country

The marsh behind the dikes

The barrel marsh is a quite unique landscape, with a beautiful nature and a rich plant and bird life. The area is part of the Wadden Sea National Park and is also on UNESCO's distinguished World Heritage List. It has a unique natural and cultural heritage that has both national and international value.

The story behind the marsh

The marsh has been created over millennia by the ocean's deposits of fine-grained clay, on top of the ice age's meltwater sand. The barrel marsh is therefore a unique cultural landscape - perhaps the best preserved marsh area at all. Here you will still find the traditional farming operation, with grazing of cattle and sheep. The landscape of the barrel marsh is also still made up of the original dikes and houses, which together make the marsh area something completely unique.

About the Tønder marsh

The barrel marsh is the total designation for eight submerged marsh areas in southwestern Jutland. The marsh is part of the lush and low landscape that extends from the Netherlands, through Germany and along southwest Jutland, to Esbjerg. Here in Denmark's largest marsh area you will encounter a very special landscape, formed by human life, with and against the water. The barrel marsh is Denmark's only inhabited marsh area and many of the old farms are located on yards - elevations - in the flat land.

The dikes

With the Wadden Sea as a neighbor, the first dikes were already built in the 1100s to protect against flooding by storm floods. To this end, they were to ensure summer grazing and salvage of hay.

The oldest, still existing, poet of the Tønder Marsh was built in 1553 and extends from Hoeger, across Rudbøl to Lægan and further south-east. Over the years, dikes were built and thus new land was recovered, which would otherwise have been swallowed up by the sometimes harsh North Sea. The last seaweed that has been built is the Forward Dove from 1981.

Nature in marshland

The nature of the Tønder marsh is something very special. A landscape that seems wild and unmanageable, but which is designed down to the last detail. The entire 300 km of canals and ditches cut through the marsh, which also consists of lakes, streams, pipe forests and meadows.

Walk in the Tøndermarsken Photo: Ulrik Pedersen, Tøndermarsk Initiative. The picture must be used in connection with the mention of the Tønder marsh and / or the Tøndemarsk Initiative.

54 km long hiking route in marsh

The great Tøndermarsk initiative, which includes must focus on bird life in the area, has so far established a total 54 km long hiking route in the Tønder marsh. The route also runs along the eastern side of Margrethe Kog from Søltoft to the old Höjers Sluse, further out to Vidåslusen and north to Emmerlev Klev.


In order to enhance the experience of the Tønder marsh, a number of support points have been listed that will teach you how to find the area and tell about the local history and the experiences you can find in the local area. 


It is recommended that you start your route at Höjer Mill in the town of Höjer, as the site is an access point to the Tønder marsh and the Wadden Sea National Park. Here you get dressed with inspiration and knowledge about the area and the unique nature of the marshland.


One of the best birding locations in Denmark

The barrel marsh is one of Denmark's richest bird sites and the area is known for the many waterfowl gathered here. 

Several rare and endangered bird species breed in the marsh, making the area of great international value.


Geese arrive in thousands and all species of duck and waders found in Denmark can also be seen in the Tønder marsh during the year as they migrate through the area or perch in the marsh.

Birds of prey also regularly visit the marsh area, while large flocks of small birds visit the countryside during the summer.


A spectacular phenomenon that can also be experienced in the Tønder marsh is the so-called Black Sun, where starfish in the thousands fly around the sky over the marshlands in fantastic formations before heading for overnight in the tube forests. This unique sight can be experienced in the spring and especially in the fall before the starlings fly south again for the winter.


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