Kællingedal – Experience specialised flora

Welcome to Kællingedal,

The gully at Kællingedal has a specialised flora, due to high levels of chalk in the soil. The site gives an insight into the geology of Hanstholm. The habitat type is dry grassland on limestone substrates. The gully is 350 m long and covers an area of about 2 ha.

The chalky slopes are the result of calcareous materials that were laid down 60-65 million years ago, when the whole area lay far below the sea surface. The so-called Danien chalks were formed from the calcium skeletons from huge numbers of animals sinking to the sea bed. The layers contain two types of material. In the deeper layers the pure soft chalks and above it harder and more impermeable chalk marls that contain more clay.

Hanstholm is a large chalky headland that was formed by sub-surface movements of a salt dome that pushed the chalk layers to the surface. At the time of the stone age, 6,000 years ago, Hanstholm was an island.

Access to Kællingedal is from Hamborgvej. Baunvej, (with its sign ”Til stranden”) is a single track road ending at a large parking area at the foot of the slope. There are small fishing boats on the beach.

Generations of people have earned their livelihoods on this coast by fishing, subsistence farming, and trading goods across the Skagerak to Norway.

Some of the rare plants that can be found among the chalk are Hoary Whitlowgrass (Draba incana), Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarella) and Tephroseris integrifolia, which in English has no common name.

It is important that these grasslands are maintained, if we are to conserve the rare plant species. Bushes and trees will quickly shade out plants that are adapted to an open habitat. The owners of this site have recently removed large amounts of vegetation from the slopes. The ideal situation is to have animals grazing the slopes.

Another threat to the habitat is the rampant growth of invasive species such as the Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa). An area 200 m west of the car park is presently being used to test various methods for managing the spread of this rose. You can see goats, sheep and cattle, who are being evaluated for their abilities to check this plant.

Roshage point lies 2.5 km west of Kællingedal. This exposed site is a perfect testing area for wave energy prototypes, where wave power is transformed to electricity. The Wave Star machine has now been tested for more than 2 years. Wind turbine prototypes have also been tested here, as direct access to the North Sea provides a harsh and windy environment.

If the weather permits you can sometimes see paragliders or model airplanes being flown from the top of the slopes. It is possible to bathe from the beach, but remember to take the usual safety precautions, as the North Sea coast is notoriously treacherous.

The West Coast Trail makes it possible to walk all the way east to Bulbjerg or south to Agger. If you want a shorter walk you can go east to Febbersted, a gully that is similar to Kællingedal. From Febbersted you take Hamborgvej back to Kællingedal. The route is 4.5 km.

The area from Hanstholm to Vigsø has become increasingly popular with tourists. It is very important to keep to the marked trails and to be considerate to farmers in the area.

  • The gully at Kællingedal has a specialised flora, due to high levels of chalk. The site also gives an insight into the geology of Hanstholm
  • The habitat type is dry grassland on a calcareous substrate
  • The gully is 350m long and covers an area of about 2 ha
  • Access is from Hamborgvej. Baunvej, with its sign ”Til stranden” is a single track road ending at a large parking area at the foot of the slope. There are small fishing boats on the beach.