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On 20 March 2004, 214 Ha of land were given back to nature. For just about 200 years, a shallow water coastal area by the Gyldensteen Manur, near Bogense, had been drained and used for farming. The Aage V. Jensen Nature Foundation bought the area in 2011, aiming to restore the earlier Northern Funen Wadden Sea. In 2014 it finally happened, and what used to be an intensely farmed agricultural area is now a coastal lagoon with outlet in the Kattegat Sea.

Since the flooding of the farm area and the creation of the new coastal lagoon, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have been following the development of nutrients, flora and fauna under the surface, while Birdlife Denmark has been following the birdlife over the surface of the lagoon.

Lately, new measures have been put in place to increase biodiversity in the flooded area. These measures are namely laying of a 10 cm thick sand layer in a 2 Ha area to reduce the negative effects of the clay rich sediment, a defuse stone reef to aid the growth of algae and to provide hiding places for fish. Finally, 2 Ha of eelgrass will be transplanted to give a natural vegetation and increase the biodiversity in the area.

Besides being the foundation for important researchm the area is also a popular recreational area. Next to the lagoon you find “Engsø”, another smaller area that has been remade into a freshwater lake, which is home to thousands of aquatic birds all year round and is a favoured location for ornithologists and other birdwatchers.

There is a focus on communicating the area by the free exhibition at Eriksholm, a visitors' centre where people can learn about the ecological development and the birds in the area. To promote communication, the university and volunteers from the local area have different outreach activities in the form of “open barn” and “meet a researcher”. Furthermore, there is also a classroom for use when teaching, and a lot of other teaching-related facilities.

Facts about Gyldensteen

  • Until 1871, the Gyldensteen Strand area was a shallow-water fjord.
  • The Gyldensteen coastal lagoon has an average depth of about 1 metre. This can, however, vary up to 1 metre in severe cases.
  • The Gyldensteen coastal lagoon has a salinity around 20-30 %, like the ambient Kattegat sea.
  • In 2022, Birdlife Denmark observed 88 bird species in or around the lagoon; 140 bird species were observed in and around the lake.

Last Updated 20.03.2024