Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Visit to a Primeval Forest

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Vildmarksmässan (A Swedish Outdoor Show) in Stockholm and to make the most of my time there spent a night in Tyresta national Park before my flight home on Monday. Tyresta National Park is only a 55 minute journey by public transport from the centre of Stockholm and is a remnant of 'Urskog'; ancient or primeval forest. It is home to pine martens, cappercaillie, black grouse, elk and a host of other wildlife.

While Sweden is known for it's Allemansrätten, or the general right to camp and hike and have access to outdoor places the national park, due to the significance and importance of it's habitats is exempt from the general right of access. There are however certain places where you are allowed to camp and have fires.

One of the places where camping is allowed; this is where I spent a night in great comfort. The temperature didn't drop below freezing but hovered at around one or two degrees all night. This little shelter is found on the banks of  Årsjön and is where I stayed the night.

Because of the rarity of the habitats at Tyresta collecting firewood from the forest is not allowed but bins of fire wood are placed as near to the designated fire places as practical allowing people to have fires all year round.

A sign showing that there is firewood (ved) 300 meters from this point.
One of the firewood bins.

I fit in a bit of whittling by the fire while I was there.

My bedroom for the night.

The view of the site from the frozen surface of  Årsjön

As much as I would have loved to stay for days I had to get home and when you leave a site like this you should obviously put the fire out, but it's also good etiquette to leave some firewood and feather sticks for the next person. It only takes a few minutes to split a bit of kindling and make a few feather sticks, so I did, just enough to get the first fire going in case of emergency or just for the convenience of the next person passing.

The scenery was amazing, frozen lakes, dark ancient pine forest and expanses of birch colonising wetlands.

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