A living landscape


The landscape changes continuously. That is not so troublesome, as long as we still can recognize the characteristic elements that are meaningful. Since the last ice age, some thousand years ago, the Wadden Sea developed by the unique interaction of nature and Man. The sea level rise and the tides left their marks in the whole area and formed the wide open marsh areas. People managed to make their living in a unique way, as we still are able to see. If we handle our cultural ‘ treasure’ in a wise way, the area offers many chances and opportunities for sustainable balanced development.

  • This necessitates the involvement of those who live, work and visit thew area and use the opportunities which the region offers.

  • Enhancing their awareness of the heritage is a prerequisite for also putting the strategies into practical policies  will be adopted by the communities.

Passing on the treasure

The follow-up project LancewadPlan, running from 2005 until 2007 and finically supported by the Interreg IIIB North Sea program focuses on the management and planning issues regarding our unique cultural landscape and heritage.


A vision and a strategy
The two German Federal States of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark and The Netherlands must develop and agree on a vision and strategy for the conservation, management and sustainable use of our common heritage. We have a common responsibility.

Valuable tracks

From 1999 until 2001 the tracks from the past in the landscape were being investigated in the Lancewad project. Lancewad means Landscape and cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea Region. The project produced an accurate inventory of all important cultural qualities of our landscape and our heritage. Countless witnesses are mapped promptly like for example dwelling mounds, sluices, mills, dikes, lighthouses and embankments which are symbols of the interaction of Man with nature. This enables us to read our own history in the landscape, like we read the folds in a beloved face. We can use the valuable tracks consciously to develop a landscape that is fully alive: economically, socially and historically.

Management principles

The Wadden Sea Ministers Conference in Esbjerg in 2001 agreed on the following central management principles.

  • The landscape will always be subject to transformation. We can not tie the landscape but we cantry to manage the development.

We need answers to questions such as: How do the agricultural reforms within the European Union influence our landscape? How can we best keep our villages while at the same time use the heritage for an additional income? Where do we want to be in 15 - 20 years and what strategy should be applied to reach the vision?

Reinforce our planning
In the first project we have looked primarily at the individual elements such as the dwelling mounds, the dykes and churches that make up for the heritage. We will now look at the heritage in its entirety because it are the elements in their context that make the heritage. Such cultural environments and areas of historic interest that displays important features of the social development of the region will be delimited and characterized geographically and result in a cultural environment atlas .
What, for example, are the characteristics of those environments? Are they special on an international level? What are the primary management issues? What are the main threats and opportunities, for now and in the future? With the involvement of all stakeholders and public participation the ambitious aims can be reached. It is of great importance that the findings and recommendations of the project are sound and can be accepted by a wider audience.