RERABOG-DK - Restoration of raised bogs in Denmark with new methods

LIFE05 NAT/DK/000150

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Jesper STENILD
Tel: +45 72 54 39 24/ +45 8620 6619
Fax: +45 86 454036
Email: ild@nst.dk

Project description:


More than 90% of the previously existing active raised bogs in Denmark have been lost. Apart from one relatively large active raised bog (Lille Vildmose), the raised bogs in Denmark are small. They are threatened by desiccation caused by draining and peat excavation, tree encroachment, and nutrient enrichment from the atmospheric deposition of nitrogen or from the influx of surface water from neighbouring agricultural areas. In most areas, the cover of Sphagnum ssp. is not dense enough to secure peat formation and peat accumulation. The National Environmental Research Institute has preliminarily evaluated the conservation status of raised bogs in Denmark as unfavourable. For this project, seven Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) were selected in which to demonstrate a range of restoration measures.


The main objective of the project was to contribute to upholding the coherence of the network of Danish Natura 2000 sites with active raised bogs, a priority habitat for the European Community. The strategy would be a twofold: the project aimed to restore and maintain a favourable conservation status for active raised bogs on the seven project sites by conserving the present areas of active raised bog vegetation as well as other habitat types mentioned in the Annex II of the Habitats Directive. The restoration will also provide the conditions for development of active raised bog vegetation on a further 398 ha.

Secondly, the project would test and develop a new method for restoring bogs, especially raised bogs, by grafting sphagnum on restored areas suitable for the development of bogs. The method had been used in Canada but as yet not in Europe. The results obtained by the method and possible recommendations would be shared with managers of bog habitats across Europe.


The seven project sites were restored and are now developing towards a favourable conservation status for the habitat types active raised bogs and degraded raised bog.

This overall was result was achieved by restoring the hydrological condition of a total of 384 ha – this land can now freely develop into a raised bog habitat. Moreover, different kinds of overgrowth were cleared on 275 ha to give the bog a better water balance and less nutrient enrichment.

In St. Økssø the project tried for the first time in Denmark to restore raised bogs on an afforested area, which had been a plantation for 50 years. The results were so promising that in spring 2009 similar actions were attempted on a 30 ha afforested raised bog just a few miles away from the Brandstrup site. As there are a significant number of such plantations on former bogs in the country, the demonstration value is very high. The project showed that grazing with goats can help control the encroachment on those areas.

In 2007 one of the contractors used by the project acquired a piece of new machinery called a pistenraupe and tested it during the project. It proved to be very effective in controlling the encroachment of birch and for the control of Molinia. The different techniques for controlling the regrowth of birch were highlighted at the national seminar and in the best practice guide. They are thus affecting how managers nationwide are dealing with the problem now.

Other measures carried out during the project included the erection of a total of13 information boards, the restoration of paths restored and creation of new ones and the construction of an observation tower on the Svanemosen site. Also, 97 guided tours were held attracting more than 3 000 participants.

Tests and studies of different types of restoration methods were carried out, and the results were disseminated during the project. One of the main achievements was the publication ‘Restoration of raised bogs in Denmark using new methods’ that is available from the project website.

These guidelines are already in use in the restoration of other bog areas in Denmark. In fact, the project led to the launch of an additional three LIFE bog restoration projects in the country and at least a further two were being prepared.

One of the contractors involved in the Lille Vildmose project demonstrated a method using steel or plastic plates at a movable working platform. The method has a great demonstration value, and has already been employed by other contractors. While many of the methods used were well known, they were often used in new contexts – for example, the use of special methods and machinery for clearing of overgrowth on very wet areas. These experiences will not only have an impact of future bog restoration, but also on the conservation of large areas of wet fens, mires and meadows that are threatened by encroachment in Denmark.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Bogs and Mires


biotope network‚  protected area‚  environmental training‚  restoration measure

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target Habitat types

  • 7110 - Active raised bogs
  • 7120 - Degraded raised bogs still capable of natural regeneration
  • 7140 - Transition mires and quaking bogs
  • 91D0 - Bog woodland
  • 3160 - Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds

Natura 2000 sites

SCI DK008X193 Storelung
SCI DK008X194 Skove og søer syd for Brahetrolleborg
SCI DK009X061 Kongens Mose og Draved Skov
SCI DK00DZ153 Sepstrup Sande, Vrads Sande, Velling Skov og Palsgård Skov
SCI DK00EX138 Brandstrup Mose
SCI DK00FX126 Rold Skov, Lindenborg Ådal og Madum Sø



Coordinator Danish Nature Agency, Waddensea (Naturstyrelsen, Vadehavet)
Type of organisation National authority
Description The Nature Agency is an organisation under the Danish Ministry of Environment. The Nature Agency produces the government’s policies concerning nature and environment. It aims to secure clean water, protecting and securing nature, planning for cities and landscape, outdoor activities and information to the public about nature, forestry and land management of the state forests, gaming and wildlife management.

The Nature Agency consists of local districts across Denmark with approximately 1 100 employees and a central Head Office in Copenhagen with approximately 400 employees. The management team consists of the Director-General and four Directors.

Partners None (after 2007)


Project reference LIFE05 NAT/DK/000150
Duration 10-JAN-2005 to 31-OCT -2011
Total budget 2,947,471.00 €
EU contribution 1,407,578.00 €
Project location Syddanmark(Danmark) Midtjylland(Danmark) Nordjylland(Danmark)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Conservation Plan After-LIFE Conservation Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Restoration of raised bogs in Denmark using new m ...
Publication: Layman report Lægmandsrapport
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Laienbericht
Publication: Research findings "Afrapportering af de første 2½ år efter udspredni ...
Publication: Research findings "Overvågning af de højmosearealer der indgår i LIF ...
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version