The place beyond development
Denmark is changing and evolving all thetime, but in the small hut town on Vaernengene nothing must change. In thenature area Vaernengene at the bottom of Ringkoebing Fjord in Denmark, lies 327small huts. Originally the huts were built by hunters for sleeping betweenhunting days. However, the huts were built on protected land. Therefore, formany years, they were meant to be torn down, but eventually the huts wereprotected. They were allowed to stay on one condition. The huts must neverchange, either in appearance, size or anything else.
Aerial view of large Mjoel. The location of the huts at Vaernengene gathers around three natural dunes: Large Mjoel, Small Mjoel and Groenbjerg. Unlike a lot of other constructions where people want to have a view, the location of the huts at vaernengene is an expression of an adaptation to wind and weather. They are sheltered and avoid flooding from the fjord. The picture hangs in Allan Soerensen's hut.
When people from theRingkøbing-Skjern Museum in 1993 interviewed 40 hut owners at vaernengene,almost all hut owners determined that just their hut had the most special andbeautiful view of them all.
When Kjeld AnkerEspersen was a child, his parents had a little hut by the Limfjord. The manyfond memories from that time were one of the reasons why he and his wife boughta hut on Vaernengene 20 years ago.
22-year-old OliverThomsen has been coming to the Vaernengene since he was a child. Both hisfather and grandfather have been hunting at vaernengene for many years. Thehunting trips has always been important to him, even as he got older and peoplearound him started living the typical life of young Danish people.
“When I was in high school, I many timespreferred going hunting instead of partying like most of my classmates,” saysOliver Thomsen.
The water sloshessilently against the barge, while Oliver Thomsen is trying to rub heat into hisred and cold hands. He has been hiking for over an hour through mud, water andreeds to reach the place he hopes will allow him to shoot some ducks.
He lies down in the barge, where he has been somany times before. Sometimes there are many opportunities for shots, and othertimes he is just laying waiting for hours before he returns to his hut.
Mikkel Ousen's firstrifle was a wooden toy gun, which he always carried around when he was a child.His present rifle is a gift from his grandfather.
Jamie Tvilum takes anap in the straws to cure his hangover before sunrise. He got to bed a littlelate the night before. Meanwhile, Mikkel Ousen stands waiting for the firstgeese to come flying. He is ready for hunting. Jamie does not have huntingcharacters himself, and this is the first time he has been on the hunt atvaernengene. He has heard Mikkel Ousen tell many good stories about the placeand wanted to experience it himself.
About 25,000short-billed geese were counted in 2013 at Vaernengene, and the nearby birdsanctuary Tipperne. In Denmark, the stock has been growing rapidly over thepast four decades, so there are now 80,000. There are 300 hunting licenses forsale for Vaernengene per year.