An extensive coastal heath with sand hills, moorland and a number of large and small oligotrophic (nutrient-poor) lakes. There are also plantations and scattered habitation.
Probably the most important breeding area in Denmark for heathland birds and the most important breeding site nationally for Circus aeruginosus, Grus grus, Pluvialis apricaria and Tringa glareola, all listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
This is one of the largest terrestrial protected areas in Denmark. In addition, some areas adjacent to the IBA are protected. Access is prohibited to most of the area throughout the year, and the remainder is closed during the breeding season. The spread of the introduced and invasive pine Pinus mugo is causing problems.
National High International High5,110 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Hanstholm reservatet, 5,110 ha).