Welcome to a countryside that is very special in Sweden!
There are few countries in the world that allow people such freedom to enjoy the countryside! The right to roam is an actual law, and means you can walk across other people's property providing it is not planted with crops. Neither are you allowed to pick wild flowers or damage plants.
These simple rules give you a unique opportunity to enjoy the fantastic flora and fauna of Sweden.
Hammars backar, east of Ystad. Photo: Sven Svensson
The coastal area
The nature reserve between the Hammars backar and Mälarhusen are part of Natura 2000, an EU nature network. The hills are a popular target for mushroom pickers, roughlegged buzzards and kestrels glide silently in search of prey and rare corn buntings hunt for food..
The coastal hills at Kåseberga make a good vantage point from which to watch migrating birds winging along the shoreline below. Countless rare and not so rare birds can be seen and as many as 100,000 barnacle geese pass by on their way to their breeding grounds in Lapland.
Nearby, the nature reserve of Hagestad and Sandhammaren lies, like true hidden treasures. In Hagestad, the short knotty oak trees and carpets of lily of the valley share the forests adjacent to Hagestad and Sandhammaren with Sweden’s most southerly herd of elk, and a plentitude of unusual as well as common birds flutter through the trees as well as many of Sweden’s rarest butterflies. It's a heavenly experience to go out and hike in this nature areas!
The valley of Fyledalen and the Högestad wetlands
Fyledalen is both botanically and geologically interesting. The beech forests are filled with interesting plants and the black stork is a regular visitor. Follow the road along the valley floor and you can see golden eagles, white tailed eagles and other birds of prey.
In the summer months, the wetlands at Högestad are home to numerous snipes and whinchats; in the spring and autumn shorteared owls hunt for prey and flocks of whitefronted geese and bean geese breed.
Photos above: Fyledalen (valley) and Öja mosse (marsh area).
Öja mosse and Ystads Sandskog
In the pastures and wetlands at Öja you’ll find orchids and other plants, and it is a popular resting place for ducks, wading birds and birds of prey. With its forests and beaches Sandskogen is a place of recreation where local peo-ple and visitors can enjoy a rich flora and fauna.
Please, visit the Tourist Offices and get your map before you head out to the nature areas!