Lild Strand, early stages of sand dunes

Welcome to Lild and an opportunity to look at the different stages of dune development. A sand dune system may take hundreds of years to develop but the process can be seen within a few hundred metres of the shoreline.

A gravel road, Strandkærvej, runs towards the west behind the dunes. After 850 m there is a car park with an information sign.

The dunes at Lild are a good example of the dune landscape that is so characteristic of the west coast of Jutland. In recognition of the area’s importance, 7.5 km² of the landscape has a special conservation status. The protected area includes all stages of dune development, with fore dunes, yellow dunes and grey dunes, followed by heath, woodland and lakes. The dune heath at Lild includes a pristine Lobelia lake, Lild Strandkær, which has an area of 2 ha.

The first stage of dune formation is the fore dunes. Here the sand is almost bare and only few plants can take hold, for example Saltwort (Salicornia) and Sea Couch Grass (Agropyron).

The yellow dunes provide huge challenges to plant growth as the environment is extremely affected by lack of water retention, salt and exposure to wind. The only species that can survive have to be extremely well adapted. Examples are Marram Grass (Ammophila arenaria) and Sand Sedge (Carex arenaria). The grey dune is more stabilised and has a higher species diversity where marram grass no longer can compete and surface lichens give a grey appearance. Older grey dunes can have heather growth and there is typically a transition to dune heath with low woody perennials (often spinous) and scattered trees. In the low lying hollows among the stabilised dunes the high winter water table often creates small ponds, known as dune slacks.

High atmospheric levels of nutrients, such as nitrogen, in part due to intensive animal production, represent a threat to the nutrient-poor dune habitats. Problem species like the Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) spread quickly in the outer dunes. The area covered by this plant can double every 4 years.

The dune heath at Lild is fenced, so grazing cattle can keep vegetation down. The fence posts are Robinia, a good alternative to tropical hard-woods.

Lild is a good place to be aware of nature’s energies. The winds and waves are always there and without sun there would be no vegetation to stabilise the dunes.

There are many ways to enjoy the dunes and beach. Sunbathing in hollows, bathing in the clear sea, kite flying in wild winds, tranquil sunsets or windy walks with sand-whipped cheeks, or the milder climate of hunting for Chantrelles (Cantharellus cibarius) in the local woods.

The car park adjoins the West Coast Trail. From here you can walk or cycle in either direction.

  • About the site: The dunes at Lild Strand are part of a larger protected area that includes dunes, dune grassland and dune heaths. Lild Strand itself is a picturesque fishing village that is worth a visit.
  • Habitat types: The beach is succeeded by low yellow and grey dunes. This is followed by the dune heath with a mosaic of moist and dry areas. The dune lake, Lild Strandkaer is an example of the few pristine Lobelia lakes in the area that are characteristic of the dune landscape.
  • Area of the siteThe protected area covers 7.5 km². The Lobelia lake is 200.000 m². Access A gravel road, Strandkærvej, runs behind the dunes towards the west. After 850 m there is a car park with an information sign.
  • Facilities 1: Picnic table at the car park.
  • Facilities 2: Information sign gives useful information about the dune landscape.