Tippen – from dump to paradise
Sydhavnstippen (the South Harbour Tip), or Tippen for short, is a nature area in the Southern part of Copenhagen, some 20 minutes’ ride on bike from the Town Hall at the center of Copenhagen. See the exact location on ‘the map‘, and photos in the ‘gallery‘.
Tippen is an exceptional area – not a park groomed by gardeners like the neighbouring Valbypark, nor a restricted nature reserve area like the close-by Kalvebod Fælled – but a wild growing piece of city nature. All sorts of activities take place here, from bird-watching trips early in the morning, picnics for the family, to performance theater events using the wilderness as a piece of scenery.
It started as a waste disposal site, where building waste was “tipped” from the mid-40s till the early 70s, and it has since grown into a fascinating piece of wild nature. It is surrounded by water on three sides and is increasingly being used as a recreational area by Copenhageners. Since 2009 sheep can be seen in the southern part of Tippen between April and September.
Maintenance of the area is mainly carried out by volunteers in the local nature group, ‘Grøn Sydhavn Naturgruppen‘ (Green South Harbour). The group is involved in a wide range of activities, from fighting invasive plant species (like giant hogweed) to cleaning up waste left by visitors. In 2008 the public owners of the area (By & Havn I/S) offered to assist in maintaining the area, and the work is now being organised in the partnership ‘Tippen Syder‘. In 2009 a climate and natureschool was placed in the northern part of the area.
Despite its humble origin as a waste dump, Tippen has become an area with a rich and varied ‘vegetation‘ and an interesting bird and animal life. Ornithologists have observed as many as 155 different types of migratory and sedentary ‘birds‘ on and around Tippen, and you may also come across smaller ‘animals‘ such as foxes, hares, stoats, and grass snakes. Therefore, the local nature group appeals to visitors to take good care of the area and its animal life. And many visitors do so!
Folders and reports in English
National rapport from November 2009 about the conditions of the nature in Denmark: ‘with English summary, page 10-13‘
‘OECD-rapport‘, 2008: The economic impacts of climate change and sea level rise in Copenhagen.
Rapport, 2009: ‘State of biodiversity in the Nordic countries‘.