Animals and Plants in Gribskov



In the summer of 2012, the rare osprey settled in and started breeding in Gribskov and had two young in its nest northeast of Store Gribsø.

It is the first time this has happened in Zealand in recent times.

During the breeding season of 1 April-15 August, Vandmosen, which is the site of the nest, and the surrounding area are closed for the sake of the birds. One may, however, follow the goings-on in the nest from a distance with binoculars. In 2017, a web camera was installed in the nesting tree prior to the eagles arriving in spring and the whole world was able to follow the laying of eggs, the hatching, and the feeding of the two young as well as their progress from the first attempts at flight until they cleared off for Africa again.

The osprey pair gather food in e.g. Solbjerg Engsø and Strødam Engsø, where their 1.6-metre wingspan really becomes obvious.

The eagles overwinter in Africa, but usually return to their nests around 1 April.

Read more on the ospreys in Gribskov (in Danish)

Fallow Deer

Gribskov is home to over 1,000 fallow deer and, hence, Denmark's largest wild population. Almost 15 percent of all the country's fallow deer live in Gribskov.

Read more about fallow deer in the encyclopedia of species (in Danish)


After having been absent for 2,000 years, the beaver returned to North Zealand in 2009, 10 years after the first ones returned to Jutland. The first of 23 German beavers were released in the Arresø area. Several were released at Pøleå, from where they can spread into Gribskov which happened for the first time in the summer of 2017.

Read more about the beaver on (in Danish)

The dams of the beavers help to restore the wetlands that were once a characteristic of Gribskov.


From time to time, a moose crosses Øresund from Sweden. Most immigrant moose have stayed in Gribskov and the surrounding forests, but only for shorter periods of time.

Islandic horses

Iceland ponies graze in several fairly large areas of Gribskov.

The ponies ensure that the high and rigid species of grasses and herbs are fully grazed to make room for a greater number of smaller plants. This is the basis for a much greater variety of species/biodiversity. You may find them particularly in the Hessemose area, in Ulvedalene by Sandskredssøen and in Odderdamsengene.

Other animals in Gribskov

In the water

The great crested newt and the brook lamprey are both especially protected species.

The brook lamprey is found in Følstrup Bæk and Esrum Å. You may be lucky to encounter the great crested newt at many of the smaller Gribskov wetlands, especially during breeding season.

Read more on the great crested newt and the brook lamprey in the encyclopedia of species (in Danish)

On land

It is possible to experience one of Denmark's largest terrestrial predators, the badger, as well as roe deer, fallow deer, sika deer and red deer.

Read more on BadgerFallow deerRoe deerSika deer og Red deer at (in Danish)

And in the air

In the Hessemose area, you have a great chance of seeing a whiteface.

The rare lesser marbled fritillary is now found only in the meadows of Odderdamsengene, while the silver-washed fritillary, a large orange butterfly, is especially fond of forest glades.

Read more on the Whiteface and Butterflies of Denmark (in Danish)

The black woodpecker, the European honey buzzard, the spotted crake and the red-backed shrike were the reason why Gribskov was designated as a bird protection area.

The common goldeneye and the green sandpiper are particularly numerous in Gribskov, and if you are lucky you may spot dippers and Kingfishers by streams and lakes.

Plants and fungi


Gribskov is known for its rich and varied selection of mushrooms and is considered a good place for spotting and gathering mushrooms; amongst others, you may find the Prince mushrooms.

Read more about mushrooms in the encyclopaedia of species (in Danish)

Green Shield Moss

Green Shield Moss is a tiny species of forest moss which, over the years, has been known to grow in 20 locations in Denmark. In the course of the last 5 years, it has been spotted in 13 forests. Most are located in North Zealand. In Gribskov, it pops up in ever more places as the search for it continues. Green Shield Moss is one of the priority species of the Gribskov habitat.

Read more on Green Shield Moss at (in Danish)

Great old trees

Tinghuslærken (“The Courthouse Larch”) was sown in 1776 and is now almost 40 metres tall and with a circumference of more than three metres.

It is the seed tree of in excess of 2 million larch trees in Denmark.

Lord Nelsons Eg (“Lord Nelson’s Oak”) was planted in 1822 as one of many so-called fleet eggs.

It is 25 metres high and has a circumference of 4.35 metres.

Skibet (“The Ship”) is a very special attraction one kilometre north of the Forest and Landscape College in Nødebo. It consists of six beech trees which, in fact, are lateral branches of a fallen beech tree which struck roots and continued growing.

The oldest parts date back to the 1700s.

Other old trees are Mårumegen, Storkevadsegene, the old oak trees at Krogdalshus, Rostgårdsbøgene in Esrumlund and Von Langens silver fir in Nødeboholt.

Climbing corydalis

Climbing corydalis is a protected plant which grows in areas of coniferous growth in Gribskov.

The flowers, which are quite small, yellow-white and grow in short bunches, bloom from late June until early October. As the name indicates, the plant quickly climbs over fallen trunks and branches and forms a mat with neat little leaves and flowers.