Reserves of Natural and Cultural Interest in Östergötland
In Östergötland there are at present 138 nature reserves and two cultural reserves that make up a total area of about 438 sq. km, or 3,7 % of the province. Of this area, the protected land totals 130 sq km, which is 1.2 % of the province land area. Of the productive forested area is 0.7% protected within nature reserves, which ensures the conservation of their biological values in the long term.
Nature reserves are established in order to:
- preserve biodiversity,
- manage, conserve, protect, re-establish or create valuable habitats,
- fulfil the need for outdoor recreation areas,
- protect, re-establish or create habitats for sensitive species.
Cultural reserves are a form of protection covered by an environmental law that came into effect in January 1999. They may be established to protect land areas with a high cultural significance.
Nature reserves can include both privately and state-owned land. They can be established after negotiations with the landowner either through compensation or purchase. The types of restrictive regulations are adapted according to the character of the reserve and vary from reserve to reserve depending on what is to be protected. In certain reserves, such as forest reserves, any economic use of the land is forbidden, while in others agriculture in the form of grazing may be necessary in order to preserve the habitat. In reserves that are primarily established for recreational purposes normal agriculture and forestry may sometimes be allowed.
Decisions involving nature reserves are made by the Provincial Administrative Board or the municipality involved. After the environmental law of 1999 came into effect, municipalities are allowed to establish nature reserves. Every decision to establish a nature reserve involves a management plan that includes a biological conservation plan and a plan for the construction of paths, signs, etc. The Provincial Administration Board administers most of the reserves in Östergötland, while municipalities administer around 20.
You are welcome to visit the nature and culture reserves of Östergötland!