South Harbour Tip
The South Harbour Tip, usually just called ‘The Tip’, is little known among tourists and locals alike. Those who do know it, however, are in love with this natural green spot in the southern part of Copenhagen, which is now a protected area and offers the finest views over the water to the bird sanctuary on Kalveboderne.
It is a sanctuary like no other in the city, with a huge wealth of plant and animal species. One of the attractions in winter is the beautiful kingfisher. It is frequently spotted on the canal, which is popularly known as the ‘Shit Channel’ (Lorterenden) because this is where the sewers ran out to the sea in bygone days.
Today, the water is clean, and small houses and sheds line the banks. You might almost think you are on the banks of the Mississippi River in the American South.
Between 1945 and 1973, this was a landfill site for building waste and surplus soil. Gradually, nature took over, creating a green world all on its own. Thanks largely to the efforts of active local enthusiasts, The Tip is now a conservation area, rather than a residential district. It is these residents who care for, nurture and develop the area, too, helping nature express its diversity to the fullest.
The voluntary Sheep Guild puts sheep out to graze here in the spring to keep the vegetation down.
Artists use The Tip for events, and regular guided nature tours introduce visitors to the birds, insects, herbs and other residents of this peculiarly urban natural world. The South Harbour Tip Nature School arranges a variety of activities.
Photo: Søren Rud
DATA & LINKSSydhavnstippen
(South Harbour Tip)
Close to: Fragtvej 9
2450 Copenhagen SV
- Nature tours
- Role-playing games
- Sheepdog trials
- Skiing in the winter
- Berry picking
- Gathering herbs
- Peace and quiet
- Bird watching
- The location means that you can continue along footpaths to Valby Park or West Amager.
- The South Harbour Tip is an old seabed that was filled in when the site was used as a dumping ground for building waste and surplus soil. At several locations, rubble and granite are still visible – and used as benches or as bonfire sites.
- Many plans have been proposed for the area, including housing and industry. Now, thanks to a long campaign by local residents, much of it is under a conservation order. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation applied for a preservation order for the remaining parts in 2012, and that case is still pending.
- In the late 1970s, there were plans to build a motorway across The Tip to the city centre.
- Very large number of plants, including berry bushes and fruit trees such as apple and cherry.
- Rich insect life.
- More than 150 bird species have been recorded in the area, including birds of prey like the white-tailed eagle, red kite, blue hawk and marsh harrier.
- Many small birds, including nightingales, which are heard in early summer.
- Rich aquatic life, including seals.
- No, but some trails are accessible by wheelchair. Good parking nearby.
- None, but there are benches and picnic tables.