LIFE Helnæs

Restoring semi-natural habitat types to a total cover of site Helnæs

In Denmark a national assessment of the conservation status of habitat types and species covered by the Habitats Directive has been made. The main threats to semi-natural habitat types of Annex I has been recognized to be overgrowth with trees and scrubs, fragmentation and also desiccation of wetland habitat types. In the ongoing planning process to develop management plans and actions plans for all Natura 2000 sites, according to the Act on Environmental Objectives, it is recommended to prioritize restoration such species and habitat types the conservation status of which is in danger of further deterioration during the first planning period 2010-2015.

For this project a site, where four of the five target habitats are those nationally in danger of deterioration, has been chosen. The site has de potential to develop into a continuum of Annex I habitat types and habitats for Annex II species that are so rarely seen in Denmark. The project site is situated at the Helnæs peninsular of Funen. It comprises a former marine bay now drained for agricultural purposes but partly restored with some salt meadows, fens, dry grasslands and meadows and a hilly terrain Bobakkerne with dry grasslands and salt meadows.

Project objectives

The overall or development objective is to restore and maintain at a favourable conservation status areas in Denmark of semi-natural habitats presently evaluated as being a priority for nature restoration efforts
The main objective is to ensure proper conditions at the terrestrial area of the site for the present habitat types and the habitat of Liparis loeselii to be able to develop and cover in a mosaic all of the site and be restored at a favourable conservation status in the near future. The habitat types are:

  • 1330 Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae)
  • 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)
  • 6230 Species-rich Nardus grasslands, on siliceous substrates in mountain areas (and submountain areas, in Continental Europe)
  • 6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt laden soils (Molinion caeruleae)
  • 7230 Alkaline fens

The secondary objective is to improve present and create new habitats for Triturus cristatus and Bufo calamita

Actions and means involved

The conservation actions described in this project proposal will be further developed in an action plan together with a team of experts. The main actions in the project are:

  • Securing the possibility to restoring the hydrology and extensive management at Helnæs Made by compensation (34 Ha) of private landowners or acquisition (42 ha) of private land involving land swops and to restore dry grasslands at Bobakkerne by acquisition of 12 ha of private land.
  • Restoring the hydrology of around 60 ha at Helnæs Made by blocking of ditches etc following a detailed hydrological study.
  • Clearing of 15 ha of threes scrubs including invasive species Rosa Rogusa and tall herbs to enable appropriate grazing.
  • Establishment of facilities for commom grazing of all of Helnæs Made (127 ha) and all of Bobakkerne (32 ha) including renovation of existing fences and new fences for present arable land.
  • Restoration/creation of 15 ponds for amphibians.


More information about the project can be obtained from the project manager and biologist Annita Svendsen on telephone +4563101341 or e-mail: 


Project type: EU Life and Natura 2000
Period: 2010-2013
Status: Completed
Partners: EU Life
Financing: App. 18 mio. kr. - EU Life finances 50%