Ørum and Flade Sø

The large flat lakes in the southern part of the national park are exciting birdwatching locations. Perhaps you'll even catch a glimpse of the otter.

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Both Flade and Ørum Sø are shallow. Originally, they were part of Krik Vig and thus the Limfjord. However, in the 17th century, sand drift (dunes moving inland) separated the two lakes from the bay. In other words, back then, it was just one large lake, Flade Sø, covering around 1200 hectares, which has been significantly influenced by human activities over time through canal construction and drainage.

In the latter half of the 19th century, a consortium led by English financiers attempted to drain the large lake, intending to provide grass for the many cattle, which was a major export product at the time. However, it turned out to be too expensive to maintain the area drained. Thus, the ambitious project was abandoned after a few years.

Nevertheless, the project's early efforts in coastal defense at Flade Sø were later reinforced. In 1958, the substantial coastal defense dike was constructed to protect the hinterland, effectively separating Flade Sø from the other lakes and the Hvidbjerg Å system.

Today, the brackish Flade Sø (485 hectares) is protected by a dike against the North Sea, with an additional dike further up towards the freshwater Ørum Sø (442 hectares). Situated between these two lakes is the smaller and younger Roddenbjerg Sø (18 hectares), which was formed after peat extraction.

Significant portions of the land down to Ørum Sø are privately owned and not accessible. However, you can appreciate the beautiful natural areas around Flade Sø. Some places along the lakeshore feature reed beds of common reed, providing habitat for numerous bird species. On the beach meadows, various orchid species grow, including the heath spotted-orchid and early marsh-orchid, as well as sea asters, slender sedge, and the rare sea pea.

Take the Green Flade Sø Route (13.5 km) from Lodbjerg Lighthouse (or from Agger), and you'll circle the entire lake. To fish in Flade Sø, you'll need a special fishing permit, which can be obtained from Krik Marine/Limbo Både in Agger.

Otters, Birds, and Lampreys

Ørum Sø is part of the Hvidbjerg Å system and drains into Krik Vig through Roddenbjerg Sø and Kastet Å. The entire area is a Natura 2000 site, affording it special protection. This region serves as a core area for otters, maintaining a stable population.

Simultaneously, it provides habitat or potential habitat for the rare lampreys, a blood-sucking fish species resembling eels.

The birdlife thrives abundantly in both Flade Sø and Ørum Sø. Here, you can witness a diverse array of ducks and wading birds. Species such as greylag geese, gadwalls, teal, northern lapwings, redshanks, and dunlins breed in this area. Meanwhile, tufted ducks, pochards, scaups, curlews, black-tailed godwits, and bearded tits use the lakes as an essential resting place during their migrations.

The otter was heavily hunted in Denmark until sometime in the 1960s, when the species was nearly extinct. Today, otters are protected, and populations are on the rise. This is also the case in the national park, where the otter has one of its core areas around Hvidbjerg Å and Ørum Sø. Photo: Biopix.

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