Landscape and Culture

For the purposes of cooperation on landscape and cultural heritage, the Wad­den Sea Area, and an area beyond, has been identified to include the main cultural entities. Activities on landscape and cultural heritage are carried out by, or in close cooperation with all relevant administrative levels and with support of the people living and working in the re­gion.

The Wadden Sea Region is a unique example of a transgres­sive coastal landscape, created by the interaction of nature and humanity. It boasts a history that can be traced back more than three thousand years and its physical traits are very consistent: a flat, open landscape of broad horizons broken by thousands of dwelling mounds, thousands of kilometers of dykes (including many wheels or breach ponds), ditches and canals, sluices and locks and polder windmills; a landscape with characteristic field patterns that reflect former salt marsh gullies and colonisation and reclamation systems, as well as thousands of picturesque villages and harbour towns and often sumptuous historical farmhouses, all of which testify to the age-old innovative character of dairy and arable farming. An area where the conserved past in a unique way explains the present.

The Wadden Sea Region. A World Class Cultural Landscape

Download the Brochure in English, German, Dutch, Danish

World Class Cultural Landscape

The Dutch Wadden Academy and the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat have published the brochure ”The Wadden Sea Region. A World Class Cultural Landscape”. The booklet is a summary of an analysis which was made earlier on how significant the cultural landscape of the Wadden Sea Region is compared to similar areas around the world. The conclusion of the analysis is that the landscape and cultural heritage is unparalleled world wide. The analysis is now made available to a broader audience through this attractive and abundantly illustrated booklet.



LancewadPlan Brochure

Download in English, German, Dutch
More information about Lancewad at

In the course of two consecutive trans-boundary Interreg projects, the Lancewad and the LancewadPlan, the cultural and landscape treasures of the Dutch, German and Danish Wadden Sea Region have been mapped and analysed. A proposal for an overall strategy to protect, enhance and manage it has been developed, which is published in “An integrated strategy to preserve, maintain and develop the cultural landscape and heritage in the Wadden Sea Region”.
More information about Lancewad at





Workshop 2012: Indicative Mapping of Cultural Landscape

Husum, 25 - 26 September 2012

On 24-26 September 2012, a workshop on predictive mapping was held at the Kreishaus Husum. The workshop introduced the method of indicative mapping in a maritime context and reflected the development of the Holocene period and the use of the maritime heritage in historic times.

On this basis, three main objectives built the umbrella of the workshop:

Acceptance of indicative mapping as an approach and use in conservation, management and spatial planning
Outline of a common project indicative mapping supported by partners
Integration of conservation and heritage approaches

The workshop has reinforced the trans-boundary cooperation on the cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea Region and will probably lead to a common project on indicative mapping in the near future.

Download workshop presentations:

Short introduction Mr. Ulf Ickerodt, Archäologisches Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein "Workshop Indicative Mapping"

Indicative mapping of the Wadden Sea Area - A geological perspective by Mr. Henk Weerts, Cultural Heritage Agency NL and
Ms Martina Karle, NIHK (Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research)
"Indicative mapping of the Wadden Sea Area - A geological perspective"

The Cultural Sea: Integrating remote-sensing with historical data in changing environments by Mr. Menne Kosian, Cultural Heritage Agency NL "The Cultural Sea: Integrating remote-sensing with historical data in changing environments"

Habitation and use of the Wadden Sea from an archaeological perspective by Mr. Martin Segschneider, Archäologisches Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein "Habitation and use of the Wadden Sea from an archaeological perspective"

A natural history of the Wadden Sea by Mr. Karsten Reise, AWI-Sylt "Why a Wadden Sea? Contingency in natural history"

Draft summary record "Workshop Indicative Mapping"

Workshop 2011: Our Common Wadden Sea Landscape and Cultural Heritage

Ribe, 11 – 12 May 2011

On 11-12 May 2011, a workshop on the landscape and cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea Region was held in Ribe on invitation by the Danish Cultural Heritage Agency in cooperation with the Danish Nature Agency and the CWSS. 33 participants represented relevant national and regional government authorities, municipalities, universities and other scientific institutes and museums.

A central objective of the workshop was to discuss and review the comparative analysis of the landscape and cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea Region made by the Essex County Council. There was general agreement that the analysis convincingly establishes that its landscape and cultural heritage is world class and an invaluable asset for the region. It was very much underlined that the findings of the report should be made accessible to a wider audience in the region in the national languages. The analysis should also play an essential role in how to further go about with this superb heritage in a trans-boundary trilateral context.

A further key objective of the workshop was to follow up of the LancewadPlan strategy published in 2007. The workshop took stock of the status of the implementation of its many very relevant recommendations and to outline the priorities for the work between the regions in the period until the 2013 Wadden Sea Conference. There was common agreement that planning with regard to the landscape and cultural heritage such as exchange of best practises, integration into planning instruments, making overall maps etc. should be prioritized. A workshop next year will be devoted to this issue. Further it was agreed that the ongoing costal protection plans and activities related to climate change should be a focal interest also for culture and landscape.

The workshop gave further incentive to the Danish Presidency to work for an agreement between the responsible authorities within the Wadden Sea Region. Since the Wadden Sea Forum is representing the regional and local governments and stakeholders it was felt that it should have a central coordinating function with regard to the landscape and cultural heritage. 

Download workshop presentations: 

Presentation of the Comparative Analysis by Nigel Brown Comparative Analysis of the Landscape and Cultural Heritage of the Wadden Sea Region.

The unwritten history. Remarks on the role of the Wadden Sea Area within European history of mentality since 1500. Presentation by Ludwig Fischer

The Wadden Academy. Presentation by Jos Bazelmann

Workshop Report: Our Common Wadden Sea Landscape and Cultural Heritage, Ribe, May 2011


LancewadPlan Strategy