Korntved-Rørkær Stien EN - Being a Marsh Farmer Was Not Easy

Over and over again life in the marshes presented challenges in the form of floods and storms. Saltwater put an end to farming for several years and when creeks crossed their banks during rainy summers, it was very difficult to gather in both hay and grain. Often haystacks flowed away into the many streams. The flooded Rørkær road. 1928.
Being a Marsh Farmer Was Not Easy Through centuries several more or less effective attempts at dewatering had been carried out. Canal and dike construction was constantly underway. In 1923 the company ‘Hedeselskabet’ was invited to conduct investigations and draw up plans for the drainage of the Tønder marsh. In 1925 the plans were approved and financing in place. From then things happened fast. Between 1928 and 1930 a comprehensive expansion of the canal network was carried out with about 250km of large and small canals through an area of 13.300 hectares (33.000 acres)of marshland. The Vidå and its inlets were also regulated. About 80km of dikes were established and the cost was 6.2 million DKK. In 1932 the drainage work was also completed in Germany. The landscape of the marsh had forever changed and with it the life of many of its inhabitants. Lakes and swamps dried out. Fishing almost ceased. The reed growth disappeared. It was the end of the usual livelihoods of the marsh residents. From then on traditional farming became the main mean of support. Neither the thatcher nor the farms making their living off reed cutting knew what was coming.
Drainage work by Tønder. 1927.