River Odense – re-meandering and wetlands

Foto: Frank Gert Larsen, MCO

The Danish Nature Agency, Funen has re-meandered parts of River Odense and restored wetlands in the river valley. It is the largest nature project on Funen so far. The project covers 350 hectares south and north of Nørre Broby in the central part of Funen, where River Odense has been re-meandered by 10 km. 50 – 60 years ago this stretch of the river was straightened, and the marshes and meadows of the river valley were drained and converted into agricultural lands.
The purpose of the project is to improve the nature and water environment in the Fjord of Odense and surrounding areas. Restoring the river implies that wetlands with wet meadows, marshes and water surfaces in the river valley reappear, and the value of nature increase.

The main purpose is to reduce nitrogen in the water environment. The wetlands reduce the nitrogen flow that goes into the Fjord with 60 tons per year.

The project has been divided into two parts. Prior to the construction extensive pre-investigations and negotiations with the landowners including land distribution have taken place. See more about the project process here.

Foto: Jens Østergaard Part I
Part I is situated south of Nørre Broby by Allerup. A 2,5 km. stretch of River Odense was re-meandered in late summer 2008. This part of the project involves a wetland of 66 hectares, including meadows and flooded areas. Voluntary agreements have been made, and the Danish Food Industry Agency has completed land distributions with 14 landowners. In the southern part of Lundemosen north of Nørre Broby a wetland of 14 hectares has been restored. Restored open water surfaces in the wetlands are valuable for many bird species.

Part II Foto: Ann Fuglsang
Part II covers 270 hectares of wetland and 7 km of re-meandered river, and spans from Nørre Broby in the south to Frankfri in the north. In September 2008 all agreements with 59 landowners in the area have been signed. 28 of the 59 landowners took part in the land distribution. The excavators started in June and worked for 4 months. Sunday the 13th of September the minister of the environment, Troels Lund Poulsen, performed the official inauguration of the largest nature project on Funen.

A layman’s report (Danish/English version) has been written, which describes the project in details.