The Dune of Råbjerg Mile is the largest migrating dune in Denmark. The west-coast has for many centuries struggled with migrating dunes due to the harsh wind and sand-covered areas - and being close to Skagen, the weather at Råbjerg Mile is far from mild.
The migrating dune is about 1km wide and 1km long, it is made up of about 3.5 million m3 sand, and is 40 meters high. Each year the dune moves around 15 meters towards Northeast, closer to Grenen, the top of Denmark. Attempts of afforestation did not stop the migrating dune, which is expected to cover the main road to Skagen in a century or two. Once the dune reaches an area with trees or other plantation, it takes approximately 40 years for the tree to re-emerge on the other side of the dune. So do "small lakes" too which are indentations caused by the varying groundwater level. These lakes are in the beginning poor on nutrition and vegetations but after some time plants are coming back.
Back in time the dune was a small and moisty layer of sand which extended west out to Skagerak where Råbjerg Mile was formed for more than 300 years in a landscape called Råbjerg Stene.
The whole area near Skagen was affected by sand migration with sand coming from the west and entire areas being covered in sand as dunes formed and therefore destroyed the opportunity to cultivate the land. The inhabitants were forced to move after a difficult fight with the sand for which the sand-covered church is proof as the church was also swallowed by the sand. Today, only the church tower is visible and they cultivated lyme grass and conifers to stop the sand migration.
Despite this the area is nowadays under protection and owned by the state after protests from amongst others Jeppe Aakjær who was dissatisfied as the plantations (which should stop the sand migration) destroyed many beautiful nature surroundings.
Attention: While hiking through Råbjerg Mile there can be a risk of moving towards quicksand!