Varde River runs through the central and western part of Jutland from its out-spring to Ho Bugt, passing by Varde and Esbjerg cities. The river valley is the only remaining estuary in Western Jutland and was an area of great importance for migrating waterfowls with feeding, moulting and resting sites up to the 1950’s. Then, intensive farming based on grass pellets’ production and grazing seriously impaired the area's natural qualities.
The restoration project was based in land re-redistribution and initiated in the 1996 by local farmers and their organisations. A restoration plan was prepared in co-operation with the Danish Forestry and Nature Agency, the Directorate for Food, Fisheries and Agri Business under the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Land Owner Committee, Varde Farmer Union, Smallholders of Varde and Neighbourhood and Ribe County.
Most of the funding came from the EU LIFE programme and from 20 year management subsidies under EEC Reg. 2078/92. It was accepted under the EU LIFE funding that the farmers’ 20 year agreements would form the long term management part of the total project.