Vestlige Vejler

Vestlige Vejler is situated in the northern part of Denmark close to the town Thisted. Vestlige Vejler forms together with Østlige Vejler the Reservation Vejlerne ( 6000 ha ). Vejlerne Reserve is part of the Ramsar Site no. 156

The Vejler was former part of a fjord (Limfjorden). Between 1870 and 1917 several attempts were made to drain the area. Draining by pumping stopped in 1917, but moderate drainage of both Østlige and Vestlige Vejler has continued using simple sluices.

Today the hydrology of Vestlige Vejler is highly affected by the past draining project.

Vestlige Vejler covers 3842 ha and consists of Lake Tømmerby Fjord in the north, Lake Arup/Vesløs Vejle in the central area and in the south western part the coastal lagoon Østerild Fjord. All three waterbodies are sourronded by reedbeds and meadows (Atlantic Salt Meadows). The meadows are extensively grazed but a new management of the grazing regime is needed. The reedbeds are extensive and forms together with the reedbeds in Østlige Vejler the largest coherent reedbed in Scandinavia .

Project area - Vestlige Vejler

Vestlige Vejler holds an extremely rich wildlife, especially the number and diversity of waterfowls are remarkable and the site is among the most important areas for water- and meadow birds in Denmark . Furthermore it is an important resting area for a large number of migrating birds.

Vestlige Vejler and Østlige Vejler is of national and international importance as a bird protection area especially as it contains a large breeding population of Botaurus stellaris and Porzana porzana and Philomachus pugnax , Calidris alpina schinzii and Chlidonias niger used to have large breeding populations in the area, but these populations have declined in recent years.

Black tern (Chlidonias niger)
Photo: Peter Bundgaard

Furthermore is the area of national and international importance for Habitats Directive Annex I habitat type 3140 Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp . as it holds an area of 975 ha of this habitat type which is one third of the national area of this habitat type. Lastly Vejlerne is a national stronghold for Lutra lutra which have a viable population in the area.

The area has through decades been managed in a traditional and rather sustainable way. The income from fishery, extensive waterfowl hunting, cutting of reeds, cattle grazing as well as hay production formed the economic basis for the farmers.

Harboøre Tange

Nyord & Vedelen

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