Just north of Söderköping is Ramunderberget Hill and its very special natural environment has characterized the social and cultural life of the town for several hundreds of years. You can see the whole town from the top.
The top of this impressive hill is 70 metres above Söderköping. It is a part of a system of fault lines that extend from Slätbacken in the east across to Lake Vättern in the west of Östergötland. Its south face plunges down to the still waters of the Göta Canal.
At the foot of these precipices there are deciduous trees with some introduced coniferous species. In the spring the ground is carpeted with Wood Anemones and Hepatica with the occasional Yellow Anemone and Great Bulbous Corydalis. The rare and protected Smooth Snake thrives here.
Most of the hill is covered by coniferous forest with a hundred-year-old spruce forest in the east and there is a stand of pines with trees that range from 150 - 200 years old. These old trees provide biotopes that have rare lichens, fungi and insects. Some of these are threatened species, like the lichen Physica magnussonii and the longhorn beetle Nothorina punctata. Many species are dependent on the presence of both standing and lying dead wood found here. The birds include the vulnerable Lesser-spotted Woodpecker and the Wryneck.
Though most of the forest is to remain undisturbed, the local ecological farming and care of the meadows is to continue.
Ancient remains indicate that the residents of Söderköping have used the hill since prehistoric times. It has also had a long tradition as a recreation area ever since the festivals at Lekareberget and the era of the Spa until the present time and the recreation centre at Peterburg. The old gallows hill evokes uncanny feelings.
Ramunderberget Nature Reserve (171 hectares) was established in 2001. It is partly owned and administered by the Municipality of Söderköping. Göta kanal AB is the other owner.