Thy National Park

The national park (244 square kilometres) covers Thy´s western coast line by the North Sea. The characteristic and unspoiled dune heaths have been created by the sea, the wind, the salt and the sand. Large plantations and some of Denmark´s cleanest lakes complete the picture of Denmark´s largest wilderness. A perfect place for plants, birds, animals and humans who enjoy a lot of space, high skies and lots of fresh air. The extent of the dune heath in Thy, you will only find at few other places in Europe.

Nature experience

Everywhere nature shows signs from the wind and the rough environment. Hiking between leaning, crooked, wind-shaped trees, or staying overnight in shelters listening to the roar of the waves are attentive nature experiences. Here is a lot of fresh air and no crowds. A vast number of hiking- and biking paths are described and shown on maps in the hiking folders of the Nature Agency.

Animals and plants

Lookout towers and points near the hiking trails give you the opportunity to watch animals and birds, especially if you bring binoculars. Thy National Park has got a nice population of red deer and roe deer. You may also be lucky to hear and see cranes breeding in the open areas. The plantations are dominated by pine trees and spruces. Hardy plants, able to live in the low nutrient sand and wet hollows are growing in the dune heath, such as crow berries, bog bilberries, heather and willow.

History of civilization

Nature´s powerful forces have always been of great importance for the life of the people of Thy. During several periods sand drift has damaged cultivated areas and forced the inhabitants to move. Beach grass and trees were planted to protect against the sand, making up the national park´s large plantations today. Formerly the fishing was exclusively done from the beach in small boats – at the high risk of loss of human lives. Therefore it was a great improvement when lighthouse and lifeboat services were developed seriously during the 19th century. Lighthouses and sea marks were built, still towering the landscape along the coast. Today all trade fishing takes place from the modern port of Hanstholm. But in the villages along the sea you can still meet anglers setting out in their boats from the coast catching crabs or plaice.

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