Wildlife in the reserve
Hanstholm Wildlife Reserve consists of dunes covered with heather as far as the eye can see, only interrupted by mountain pine which was planted to protect the area against sand drift. Until 1930, the area was divided into parcels owned by farmers and smallholders and used for grazing and hunting. In the 1930s, the Danish state bought the land and hunting was prohibited. In 1949, the wildlife reserve was established.
The bird tower in Sårup in the northwestern part of Tved dune plantation is situated high on the old coastal cliff. From here is a particularly good view of the central and closed areas of Hanstholm Wildlife Reserve. Bring a good pair of binoculars.
There is rich wildlife around the lakes at different times of the year. In March-April you can be lucky to see cranes dancing and trumpeting in the ponds below the tower before they settle on the breeding grounds in the reserve. Later in the summer, you can see them walking around in pairs with one or two young birds.
One of the best places to see red deer in the reserve is also from the tower. In the late summer, up to 400 animals can gather for periods in the dune terrain outside the tower. Later the flock breaks up for the mating season when the large leaders each gather their herd and guard it jealously. When the stags roar across the wilderness on a calm evening during sunset, you forget the present and you are taken back to primeval times.
In the migration period, the central reserve is visited by many resting birds. Each autumn, large flocks of pink-footed geese come from the breeding grounds on Svalbard, and in recent years the flocks of greylag geese have become ever larger.