By Mikael Äng
Customer Experience Manager
"Time in the forest is not just for recreation, but for reflection too"
Allemansrätten – the right of public access – is what makes Swedish nature unique. And this is the season to really enjoy it.
Considering that about three quarters of Sweden (70%) is covered by forest, it might seem strange that it still has such strong attraction on us Swedes. One would maybe think that something that comes in abundance should be taken for granted and not stir up any feelings. But it does! And more so than ever this very time of the year.
One of the things I’m most proud about being a Swede is the law we call Allemansrätten, right of public access. I’ve been with Iggesund Paperboard since 2014 and every year we welcome approximately 300 customers to come visit and get to know the whole process, from seedling to premium paperboard.
What oftentimes leave them most impressed, is the fact that they have unlimited access to the nature. They can fill their basket with funnel chanterelles or pitch a tent on someone else’s private ground. As long as you cause no harm or disturbance, you can roam freely. That is unheard of to most nationalities.
Besides making the forest more available for you and me, what the right of public access also does is adding transparency to forestry. In other parts of the world, forest owners can pretty much do what they like with their forest. If Swedish forest owners didn’t follow legislations, it would soon be reported.
I spend as much time as possible in the forest. Both at work and off work. And though there is room for everyone, I am certainly not alone out there. Autumn is the season when most Swedes spend time in the forest, picking berries and mushrooms and hunting moose (in October, 300 000 Swedes are out hunting). If not just to enjoy the beauty of leaves changing colours and the soft sunrays making their way through the branches.
+ Some of the things you CAN do
- Walk, ride a bike or horse pretty much everywhere as long as you don’t get too close to a private house
- Camp one night
- If you want to stay longer, you need to ask permission from the person who owns the land
- Pick flowers, berries and mushrooms
- Swim, ride a boat and disembark (just not too close to private houses)
- Light a fire
- Avoid making it directly on a bare cliff (it might crack)
- In summertime, making fire is often forbidden, as the ground is dry and the fire might get out of control quickly
- Fishing with fishing-rod or casting-rod along the coast and in the five biggest lakes
- Some of the things you CAN’T do
- Cross gardens, plantations or farming lands
- Drive a car or motorcycle in nature
- Make a fire in windy or dry weather
- Harm trees and bushes
- Let your dog out without a leash