Photos and video from a muddy adventure in Denmark
Having barefoot fun
Walking barefoot through the mud flats during low tide looking for mussels, worms, snails, shrimps,
shore crabs, and fish is great fun.
The photographer and webmaster from the hostel in Ribe, Danhostel Ribe, recommend a Sea Explorer
tour with a skilled ranger from the Vadehavscentret ved Ribe (Wadden Sea Centre)
The tour took place 10 km from Ribe town in the Wadden Sea National Park – the largest national park
in Denmark. Ribe is Denmarks oldest town and voted Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destination 2014
Where the horizon is wide and the sky goes on forever
The tidal flats of the Wadden Sea National Park from Blaavandshuk and Ho Bay in Denmark (north)
to Den Helder in the Netherlands (south) are the largest continuous tidal flats in the world.
The Wadden Sea National Parks in Germany and the Netherlands became UNESCO World Heritage in 2009.
The Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark have applied for World Heritage membership.
Late June 2014 we will know the result. Read here if you want to know more about the
Wadden Sea National Park
Explore the Big World of Small Wonders
Who will be the first to find all the small animals? Fun and adventure for the whole family.
Many of the small animals are masters of disguise and can be difficult to find
Looking for mud snails and Common Periwinkles
A tiny snail is found and studied. What kind of snail is it? Is it alive? For example is the shell of the
very small mud snail black when the snail is alive and grey or white, when it is dead. Biologist and
ranger from Vadehavcentret ved Ribe (Wadden Sea Centre), Karen Vestergaard Henriksen, helps
to identify the little snail.
Caught in the net
These boys are very occupied in what they can catch with their nets.
Catch a crab
A crab is caught alive and carefully picked up and put into a glass with help from the ranger.
It will be closely examined later at the Wadden Sea Centre
The seabed in a family-friendly way with a ranger
The ranger will help you spot the very small animals – like the “Small Five“: the lugworm, the
common cockle, the mud snail, the crab and the shrimp – and other small animals that are
either difficult to spot or are hiding in the mud.
Never eat oysters in a month without an R
Oysters are delicious but this big oyster was picked up, opened, and afterwards thrown away again.
Oysters and Mussels can be gathered from October till May, during the cold months. In summertime
and warm water the oysters can have dangerous bacteria and should not be eaten.
If you arrive to Ribe in the wintertime don’t miss an oyster tour to harvest your own oysters.
Let’s take a closer look at the small wonders
After the tour in the Wadden Sea National Park the small animals are closely examined in the
Wadden Sea Centre’s lab
Under the microscope
Under the microscope in the laboratory Amphipods, mussels, Common Periwinkle, mud snails, etc
are examined. In the video you can see how suddenly the horns of a Common Periwinkle appears
and look very big under the microscope
Sea Explorer Tours
The Sea Explorer tour is a family activity that takes place during the summer months on the mudflats
at the old Ebb road (Mandø Ebbevej) to the island Mando in the Wadden Sea. The ranger brings nets
etc. The participants should be able to walk at least 2 km. Rubber boots or bare feet. Clothes according
to the weather. Registration is not required for this tour.
Tickets are bought at the Wadden Sea Centre. The first tour in 2014 is 10am the 29th of May. Read more
about the tours here: VadehavsCentret – Tide Activities
Video from a Sea Explorer Tour
If you want a good spot to feel the sand and the mud between your toes, then the Wadden Sea National Park is it.
But be careful. The tidal flat surfaces are flooded twice a day at high tide. Don’t walk too far out unless you are very familiar with the tides, for at high tide the water rises above your head unless you are more than 2 meters tall. Join a guided tour with a professional guide instead.
© Photos Gudrun Rishede, Danhostel Ribe