Best Stockholm`s Nature Reserves. Part II
The Stockholm Archipelago in the Baltic Sea consists of over 30,000 islands, islets and skerries, of which only about 200 are inhabited. This vast and diverse archipelago is home not only to picturesque landscapes but also to unique fauna and flora. It is a perfect destination for those who love nature and are looking for an adventure away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Preserving the pristine beauty: Exploring Stockholm Archipelago’s Nature Reserves
Many of the islands and parts of the mainland in the Stockholm Archipelago are designated as nature reserves. Each protected area has its own character with a variety of habitats, flora and fauna. These nature reserves have been established to preserve the unique natural environment of the archipelago and allow visitors to experience the unspoilt beauty of the islands.
However, when visiting a nature reserve, it is important to be careful and respectful of the environment. Visitors must avoid disturbing the natural habitats and be aware of the impact they have on fragile ecosystems. In Nacka, a municipality near Stockholm, there are already 12 nature reserves where visitors can hike and swim.
Exploring the Stockholm Archipelago: The most interesting nature reserves to visit
For those seeking a unique nature experience in Stockholm Archipelago, we have chosen the eight most exciting nature reserves to visit:
5. Häverö Prästängs
Southwest of Herräng you will find Häverö Prästängs nature preserve. Häverö Prästäng is one of the few bigger mowings in Roslagen that still are harvested traditionally. The area is rich in species. A deciduous forest is dominant outside the meadow, but there is also coniferous forest, outcrop, and shore meadows. In the nature preserve you can find beaches and swimming possibilities.
Almost the whole island is covered with forest, where pine is the most common species. In many areas, there are ancient pine and mixed forests with beds of moss and marshy areas. In the wetlands, common species like wild rosemary, cloudberry and hares-tail cottongrass grow, but also rarer plants like lesser twayblade, one flowered wintergreen and ryegrass sedge.
The wildlife and plant sanctuary of Nåttaröfladen, on several small surrounding islands and rocks, has a rich birdlife. Besides geese and gulls, you’ll find common shelduck, gadwall, scaup and velvet scoter. To protect the birds there’s no access to the sanctuary between 1 February and 15 August.
Nåttarö is a much-loved swimmers’ paradise with its lovely beaches. Waxholms boats ferry people to and from the island and when you’re there you can enjoy peaceful walks along car-free tracks and paths, and stay overnight in tents and cottages. Östermarsfladen to the north is a popular spot for sailing visitors.
7. Ljusterö – Eastern Lagnö nature reserve
Östra Lagnö and Brännholmen is clearly a special place. Being able to get this far out in the archipelago by car and then view the horizon is a unique experience. The best time out here is early summer before it gets too crowded. The floral displays are simply breathtaking then, particularly by the sea, with all the waterside meadows. The path with disabled access is also recommended – a walk by the waterside here is a real highlight!
Beaten earth paths, adapted toilet facilities and car access, furthermore, make Östra Lagnö an ideal destination for people with disabilities.
8. Örskärs Lighthouse
Örskär is an island in Roslagen’s outer archipelago, immediately north of the island Gräsö. In the north and the east, it’s open sea as far as the eye can see. The island is about 400 ha (hektar) and most of Örskär is a Nature reserve (the yellow highlighted area on the map).
Örskär Lighthouse is still in operation and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) has a weather station on the island. Örskär is mentioned every day in the maritime weather forecast on Swedish Radio.
The island has several habitats with barren archipelago nature with sea buckthorn, pine forest and marshes along the shoreline. The island’s western part has a landscape influenced by the early farms.
During spring and autumn, Örskär is a good spot for bird watching and the island showcases an impressive list of rare birds. The flora is rich and 18 different orchids have been found here.
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