In March 1962, excavators moved in to drain 4,000 hectares of wetlands in the Skjern River Valley. This had been preceded by heated debate over the sense in reclaiming agricultural land at the expense of the natural landscape, given the surplus of agricultural…
You're wrecking the countryside, man!
The changing attitudes to the natural landscape in an increasingly affluent nation are reflected in an anecdote about the chairman of the committee of riverbank owners who forced through the straightening of the Skjern River in the 1960s. In recognition of the chairman's personal efforts in the greatest land reclamation project of the century, the Danish Heath Society had nominated him for a knighthood. While in Copenhagen to thank King Frederik IX for this honour, he ventured to enquire as to whether His Majesty might contemplate a visit to see the work. A royal visit would of course be good publicity for a controversial project. But the King retorted: I will not, you're wrecking the countryside, man!" "
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