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Saksfjed Wilderness joins European Rewilding Network

Saksfjed Wilderness, one of Denmark's largest and most ambitious rewilding initiatives, has joined the European Rewilding Network, marking a significant step forward in enhancing rewilding efforts across the region.

Located at the southern tip of Lolland, the Saksfjed Wilderness spans 800 hectares of coastal area, including meadows, wetlands, and woodlands. Previously used for agriculture, this area is now under the stewardship of the Hempel Foundation. Since January 2023, the Foundation has embarked on an active mission to rewild the area, aiming to restore natural processes and develop a diverse habitat of open grassland, forests, and wetlands, maintained by extensive grazing from bovines and wild horses.

Huge rewilding potential

The European Rewilding Network assess the landscape to have a huge rewilding potential:

"With its swampy forests, sandy soil, woodlands, dead wood, large population of seed-dispersing deer, and species-rich neighbouring areas, the conditions at Saksfjed Wilderness offer a near-optimal starting point for the recovery of nature, aligned with rewilding principles and scientific recommendations. Through their grazing, the bovines and horses at the site help to keep vulnerable habitats such as meadows, pastures and wetlands open, enabling rare butterflies, orchids, and frogs to thrive.   

Anders Holm, CEO of the Hempel Foundation, highlights the initiative's significance: "Denmark is among the countries with the least amount of wild nature globally. The Saksfjed Wilderness initiative is set to change this, benefiting both wildlife and Danish society. We envision it becoming a key natural area in Denmark, inspiring rewilding efforts nationwide and beyond."

Mutual benefits

Joining the European Rewilding Network as its 91st member, the Saksfjed Wilderness will contribute to and benefit from the collective expertise of members across 28 European countries. This membership is expected to bolster the Foundation's rewilding efforts through shared knowledge and experiences.

"We are thrilled to join the network," states Holm. "The opportunity to learn from others and share our insights is invaluable."

The Saksfjed Wilderness not only focuses on ecological restoration but also prioritises community engagement and education. Plans include establishing a rewilding information centre and promoting the initiative's goals and achievements through various platforms to inspire further rewilding projects and elevate nature restoration on the global agenda.

Join the network

Rewilding Europe warmly welcomes other rewilding initiatives to join the European Rewilding Network, fostering a community dedicated to practical and impactful rewilding efforts.

For more information, please visit the European Rewilding Network and the Saksfjed Wilderness pages.