LIFE for Danish nature

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1 LIFE for Danish nature LIFE is one of EU s most important financial instruments to support projects on environmental and nature protection throughout the EU and neighbouring contries. Since 1992 LIFE has co financed 3506 projects and has contributed with more than 2,5 billion for protecting the environment and nature. Since the LIFE+ programme was launched, 26 projects have been co-financed in Denmark. The LIFE+ Nature projects are most often innovative and pilot projects which focus on elaborating new methods and knowledge on nature restoration. The largest and most famous of the Danish projects is the restoration of River Skjern The project included e.g. the establishment of 40 km new watercourses and a couple of lakes, cutting down vegetation and restoration of the natural hydrology by removing dams and land reclamation pumps. The total price for the project was app. 35 million of which app. 3 million were paid by LIFE. Today you will find 9 active LIFE-Nature projects in Denmark and two cross-border projects. The latter includes a joint Scandinavian action to eliminate the invasive alien species, the racoon dog. Please find in the following some examples of Danish LIFE projects.

2 Blue Reef The overall objective of the project is to restore offshore reef habitats at Læsø Trindel and Tønneberg Banke. Offshore boulder reefs have been restored in order to regain the cavernlike structure of natural reefs and its rich biodiversity. The project will contribute to increase awareness among environmental managers, policy makers and the broader public on marine nature restoration, conservation and management issues. The project includes restoration of 6 ha of offshore reef habitat with boulders from a quarry in Norway. The new boulders have a total volume of about m3. Restoration includes stabilisation of 5.5 ha at the top of the boulder reef or close to 100% of the deteriorated reef area. To document the effect of the restored reef structures a monitoring programme has been set up. Such information will be useful for future marine restoration projects. Natura 2000 Site no DK00VA249. The Natura 2000 habitat site at Læsø Trindel is designated because of its boulder reefs. Species: macroalgae, wrasses, lobster, cod Start and end: Total budget: LIFE contribution:

3 The Houting Project The Houting Project is the second largest nature restoration project in Denmark. The houting was in earlier times abundant throughout the Wadden Sea, but it has suffered seriously and its occurrence is now restricted to Denmark, where it reproduces in six river systems. The presence of even small obstacles e.g. small dams in rivers is one of the main impediments to successful reproduction, as the houting is unable to pass weirs and fish ladders on its way to the spawning areas upstream. Lack of spawning grounds is also a severe problem. Furthermore, juvenile houting require areas of reed beds or flooded meadows prior to migration to the sea. The overall objective is to restore favourable conservation status for the houting in four rivers. The project will have a positive effect on all other components of the river ecosystems and result in improved habitats for other animals and plants living in or along rivers. Weirs and dams in the four river systems will be removed and riffles or meanders restored. Two hydroelectric power plants and several fish farms will be decommissioned. River sections will be restored with gravel, creating new spawning grounds, and new flooded areas adjacent to the river will be created. Natura 2000-Sites in DK00AX175 (H77) - Nørholm Hede, Nørholm Skov og Varde Å øst for Varde, DK00AY176 (H78) - Vadehavet med Ribe Å, Tved Å og Varde Å vest for Varde, DK00AX177 (H79) - Sneum Å og Holsted Ådal, DK009X182 (H90) - Vidå med tilløb, Rudbøl Sø og Magisterkogen Species: Houting, Atlantic salmon, Lampreys, Otter and many others Start and end: Total budget: About LIFE contribution: About

4 Restoration of the Skjern River From a LIFE project was part of Denmark s largest restoration project ever, which aimed to restore and improve the living conditions of the animal and plant species that disappeared when Skjern River was channeled in the 1960s and the surrounding meadows and marshes were drained and converted to arable farmland. The LIFE project ensured a better quality of watercourses in the Skjern river system and restored the river s self-cleaning effect by flooding of meadows, which resulted in depositing of nutrients supporting a better environment in the Ringkøbing Fjord. The original Skjern River meanders have been recreated and adjacent agricultural land has been converted into meadows that are no longer drained or fertilized as well as the use of pesticides is banned. The project has been a great success with a large increase in biological diversity. The otter has again become common, and the famous Skjern River salmon, which was almost extinct, is now so common that a quota may be fished every year. Well over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the area after project completion. Natura 2000 Sites: F43, DK00CX043, Ringkøbing Fjord. H61, DK00CX162, Skjern Å. Species: Green snaketale, sea lamprey, river lamprey, salmon, otter and floating water plantain. avocet, marsh harrier, short-eared owl, spoonbill, bittern, common tern, black tern and spotted crake Start and end: Total budget: About LIFE contribution: About

5 Restoration of raised bog in Lille Vildmose Lille Vildmose er et enestående naturområde. Her finder man den største aktive højmose i det nordvesteuropæiske lavland. Faktisk indeholder Lille Vildmose mere end halvdelen af det fredede område med højmose i Danmark. Dog har årtiers tørvegravning og landbrug skadet de centrale områder af mosen alvorligt. For at forbedre situationen i Lille Vildmose, vil Aage V. Jensen Natur Fond, Aalborg Kommune, og Naturstyrelsen gennemføre et omfattende restaureringsprojekt i højmosen. Projektet er støttet af LIFE + Natur. Projektet blev lanceret i september 2011 og vil fortsætte frem til udgangen af Højmoser er en stærkt truet naturtype. Efter mange år med dræning, dyrkning og tørvegravning, er kun en lille procentdel af højmoserne i Danmark og resten af Europa bevaret. Af de oprindelige 55 km2 højmose i Lille Vildmose, er kun 20 km2 højmose bevaret i dag. Formålet med dette LIFE + projekt er at sikre de fredede områder med højmose og samtidig skabe et grundlag for restaurering af højmose i nogle af de ødelagte områder. : Natura 2000-Site N18 Lille Vildmose, Tofte Skov og høstemark Skov Species: Different species of Sphagnum mosses, different species of Sundew, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Crane, Bean Goose, Otter Start and end: Total budget: LIFE contribution:

6 Sustaining the population of Marsh Fritillary This LIFE - Nature project ASPEA has secured an internationally significant population of Marsh Fritillary in Denmark. Working at a landscape scale the project aimed to restore habitat conditions and connectivity across six Natura 2000 sites designed for this species. The project aimed to: increase the area of Marsh Fritillary breeding habitat in favourable condition; improve connectivity between breeding patches within the Natura 2000 sites and through a comprehensive information campaign to raise awareness about the vulnerable butterfly among landowners and local authorities. ASPEA has managed and restored about 500 ha of Marsh Fritillary habitats, and as a result the negative trend for the Marsh Fritillary has been curbed. This outcome was documented through an intensive monitoring programme; practical experience was gained, and a comprehensive information campaign was conducted. 500 landowners in the action areas received eight newsletters each; several plot owners meetings were held in addition to multiple nature excursions, a seminar with 80+ participants, including experts and public authorities from across the country, and more than 100 individual meetings between plot owners and the management authorities. Natura 2000 sites: N3 Jerup Hede, Råbjerg og Tolshave Mose. N19 - Lundby Hede, Oudrup Østerhede og Vindblæs Hede, N21 - Ejstrup Klit, Egvands Bakker og Lien med Underlien Species: Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas Aurinia) Start and end: Total budget: LIFE contribution

7 The best of the best Awarded Best of the Best among all LIFE projects in 2011 the REGAIN project on Fyn stands out. The River Odense is one of the largest river systems in Denmark. Between 1944 and 1960 around 20 km in total, were channelled and straightened to provide more farmland. This, however, had serious consequences both in and near the river for wildlife, which faced rapid decline in the following years. Despite these losses, the River Odense is one of the only rivers in Denmark that hosts a population of the thick-shelled river mussel, a large freshwater mussel that has disappeared over much of its European range, as well as fish species such as the spined loach and brook lamprey. Where the river drains into the Odense Fjord there is an area of Atlantic sea meadows and mudflats of high conservation potential. The overall objective of this LIFE project was to improve the ecological conditions of species and habitats along and in the river Odense and in the fjord. The main action was to restore meanders to a 12.2 km section of the river. Around 350 ha of riparian wetlands and meadows have been re-created, which helps to reduce the nutrient load in Odense Fjord 155 ha of neglected coastal meadows along the fjord have been restored. Natura 2000 sites: N110 Odense Fjord, N114 Odense Å med Hågerup Å, Sallinge Å og Lindved Å Species: The thick shelled river mussel Start and end: Total budget: 3,852,367 LIFE contribution 1,926,184

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