East of Lake Ämten the forest shows clear effects of a forest fire that took place in 1914. Many burned stubs can be seen and the number of birches is also indicative as the birch is one of the first trees to colonise after a fire. On the other side of the lake the picture is different. The water prevented the fire spreading, so the forest east of Lake Ämten was spared. Here the coniferous forest contains trees up to 150 years old. Since thinning in 1959 the forest has been largely undisturbed, and increasingly resembles a genuine native forest.
Elks, owls and rare butterfly
The forest has a very rich fauna. Elk, roe deer, pine marten, stoat and badger live here, as well as a large variety of bird species, such as the tiny Tengmalm’s owl. It is no bigger than a thrush and is easily recognised through its surprised look.
During the day it rests close to tree stems but spends its nights hunting voles. At Torshällsmossen look out for the rare butterfly species, Frejya’s Fritillary, flying over the bog with its orange-red wings. The butterfly is a northerly species with its southern distribution limit is in this region.
Effects of man
The work of former generations is still visible. The cairn shows a cultivation site and the observant visitor will find remains of charcoal pits, indicating the intensive work to produce charcoal that still went on in the 1930s.
During that time, ditches were dug to increase forest production. They were dug by hand but were not very successful. The banks of the River Sverkestaån were used in the 19th century as meadows and the river was used for floating logs until 1934.
How to get there
From Lindesberg, take the road towards Grönbo/Kåfalla. There are signs to the nature reserve on the road to Hålldammen and east of the village of Grönbo. At Grönbo Manor, turn into Iskarbovägen. After 100 metres, turn right and follow the road for 800 metres. Turn left onto a small forest road, and there is an information board after 50 metres.
In the nature reserve, you are not permitted to:
- light fires except in the barbecues at the fishing sites
- drive motor vehicles except on the road to Hålldammen; this also applies to driving through the area with forestry vehicles
- arrange sporting competitions, camps or similar
- remove living or dead branches or remove wood
- dig up or pick flowers
- collect mosses or lichens
- camp or park caravans anywhere except in the designated zones along Hålldammsvägen
- interfere with existing markings or devices placed for experimental purposes