In the marshland around Pandrup you can experience a unique natural landscape. With careful stewardship, we make it possible for you to move about the terrain on the marked routes.
Enjoy your trip to the marsh and help us take good care of this unique natural setting.
The large bog flats found in several places in Sandemosen are one of those rare natural settings that make one think of truly wild and untouched nature. The wind's free play over the low-lying flats leaves its mark on all flora, large and small.
The last Ice Age, which ended some 12 000 years ago, left large portions of Vendsyssel under water. Up until about 4000 years ago, at the end of the Stone Age, the peat bogs were created as the last of the ice melted. An upheaval of the land converted the shallow sea to mainland peatbogs.
Rain washed nutrients out of the soil, and the moist, nutrient-poor environment provided good growing conditions for peat moss, otherwise known as sphagnum. Sphagnum grows in waterlogged, oxygen-poor environments. This means that the sphagnum does not decompose. If there is sufficient water, new sphagnum will grow over the existing layer, creating bogs with mounds and hollows. In the Drifting Sand Period (1550–1850) a layer of shifting sand was deposited over the peat. Moors were formed where the sand remained in place, and bell heather, among other plants, grows in the moist hollows.
Birds of prey
Buzzards are often seen in the marsh and are among Denmark's most common birds of prey. Buzzards eat small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and worms. They nest high up in trees. The hen harrier is a common migratory and winter guest in Denmark. They rarely breed in Denmark, but it is precisely Sandmosen's natural tapestry that attracts this handsome bird of prey in winter.
The short-eared owl is also drawn to Sandmosen's open natural areas. It is seen in winter when Scandinavia's northern breeding grounds have bad mouse and rodent years. Every few years, when there is an especially good mouse year in Denmark, a few pairs of short-eared owls breed in areas like Sandmosen. The field mouse is a main item on the menu.
The curlew is a large waterfowl with a wingspan reaching over one metre. It breeds on moors and in bogs, but is drawn westward and southward in winter.
The most beautiful song
The nightingale sings from the beginning of May until the beginning of July. Its beautiful, loud song can be heard from the osiers in the wettest areas. The nightingale is a migratory bird from Africa, that can stay briefly in Denmark to get its young on the wing.
The peat layers in the marsh used to be used as fuel. A peat bog could be a couple of meters wide, from 7–12 metres long, and consists of 10–30 layers. The top layer was often light and loose. The bottom layer had the most fuel value and thus came to be called peat coal. There are still many peat bogs visible in the marsh.
The most common trees in the marsh are the European white birch, the downy birch and the European aspen. They all have light bark and can grow to 25 metres in height.
The white birch has hanging foliage and the bark of older specimens is still white and sits like paper on the trunk. The downy birch has more upright foliage in the tree crown. It is also vulnerable to fungus, which makes a sort of broom in the treetop, called witch's broom, as seen here in the photo.
In the marsh you can find lots of frogs and toads in and around the small waterholes. You might be lucky enough to see common frogs, toads and lizards. It is fine if the waterholes dry up, because the amphibians only need them in the spring, when they breed.
Lizards are reptiles, and salamanders are amphibians. Common lizards are also known as forest geckos or live-bearing lizards. All reptiles and amphibians are protected in Denmark.
The devil's bit
The devil's bit scabious grows in abundant light in meadows, marshes and moors. It is typically found on the border of wet and dry areas. The very rare marsh flitillary butterfly depends on devil's bit, which provides both an egg-laying place and food for the larva.
Crowsfoot belongs to the rose family and blooms in June–August. It prefers the moist, nutrient-poor areas of the marsh.
The spotted orchid
The spotted orchid belongs to the orchid family, and can grow up to 40 cm high, preferably in the moist marshland. All orchids are completely protected in their natural habitat.
Marsh yarrow grows in the more nutrient-rich areas of the marsh. It blooms in July and August, and can grow up to 60 cm high.
The bog bilberry
The bog bilberry grows on thin peat bottoms and resembles the blueberry, which also grows in the marsh. Bilberries can also be eaten, but have light-coloured berries without so much flavour. Blueberries are violet and very rich in taste. Blueberries have characteristically green, angular branches.