Sand migration by the North Sea | Nature by the west coast

Sand Migration

With moderate winds, the sand bounces along the ground and the well known grooves in the sand are thereby created. When the winds are strong and sand storms occur, entire dune areas are relocated.

Sand migration can be very destructive to vegetation, either because it becomes buried in sand or because the roots of the vegetation lose their grip. On the other hand, some vegetation keeps sand from migrating, if the plants get the time to put down their roots before a storm comes. The dunes are therefore planted with marram grass, lime grass, and other plants that can hold the sand in place.  

In Denmark, sand has drifted for centuries; especially on the west coast. Holmsland Klit, which is the long strip of land between Søndervig and Nymindegab, is a rather 'new' landscape, which was hit with natural disasters regularly from the middle of the 16th to the end of the 19th century; in those days, entire towns and farmlands were devastated by sand drift. Then the locals began planting the dune areas, which helped a great deal.  

There is still a saying that land changes owners when entire fields are blown to the neighbour's land.  

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The dune farms

The Dune Farms

The Ringkøbing area and Holmsland Klit especially are characterized by a very particular and special building culture. The most common traits are red bricks; white painted doors, gates, and muntined windows; and half moon shaped thatched roofs; these traits are most visible in the old dune farms, which signalled that the owners were wealthy and high up.