By Anastacia Sampson
Sweden - National Parks
The strongest protection given to valuable nature is to declare it as a national park. In Sweden there are 29 national parks. These parks can be found across the country and visitors are strongly encouraged to hike in these parks, through easy access. The only park that may not be that easy to visit is the Sarek National Park.
The following is a brief about some of the national parks with names of some other noteworthy ones:
•Ängsö - is an island in the Stockholm archipelago. This park is well known for having an ancient farm landscape in the archipelago environment. Other special attractions are the spring flowers and the varied bird life. The park was recognised from 1909 and extended in 1988.
•Fulufjället - is a PAN Park (a network founded by the World Wildlife Fund of Europe, which is an international project aiming to combine preservation and tourism). The park, which was officially started in 2002, provides great bird watching. It is also the site of Sweden's largest waterfall, Njupeskär and home to one of the world's oldest trees;fondly named Old Tjikko.
•Hamra - formed in 1909, is located in Ljusdal Municipality of Gävleborg County. Within this park there are two low moraine hills with virgin forest and major rock boulders.
•Kosterhavet - was established in 2009 and is the first national marine park in Sweden. The park primarily is the sea and shores around the Koster Islands, excluding the actual islands. The waters in the park are home to over 6000 marine species, 200 of these cannot be found anywhere else in the country. Professional fishing is permitted in the park, under special rules. The park has a great attraction for bird watchers, people wanting to snorkel or observe sea life while walking along the shores.
•Stenshuvud - established in 1986, is largely covered by deciduous forest of an exotic nature. Most of the forest trees are hornbeam and beech. There is also a section of coastline that is part of the park. Several historical finds are in this national park, such as the remains of Skåne's only ancient fort round the mountain. This ruined fort dates back to the 5th to 6th centuries. The area experiences a warm climate and varied conditions support a wide variety of plant species and animal life. The population of nightingale thrives in the park and visitors can sometimes hear its special intense song.
•Tyresta - was formed in 1993 and is surrounded by nature reserves within Stockholm County. Unfortunately forest fires do occur;in 1999 there was a fire of unknown origin which destroyed about 10% of the park's natural treasures. Stony slopes are part of the terrain with numerous pine trees, and this park is home to one of the country's biggest virgin forests.
Map of Swedens National Parks - courtesy of http://www.swedishepa.se/
For more information, please view: http://www.swedishepa.se