The nature reserve comprises bogs and peat areas, strewn with ponds. There are more lakes here than anywhere else in Bergslagen and the nature reserve has a rich birdlife. Geologists have no real explanation as to why there are so many lakes. What is clear is that they were formed very early and that the sphagnum bog has grown in stretches between the mires. The lakes are approximately 3.5 metres deep and have sandy bottoms.
Stora Hälleforsdynen – large sand dune with remarkable insects
Knuthöjdsmossen has a remarkable sand dune that is the habitat of many special insects. The bare sand surfaces support a very rare grey ant, Formica cinerea, left from the time when the dune was unvegetated.
There is also the grey bee, Colletes cuniculariussom, which builds its nests in colonies in warm, sand slopes. The bees swarm very early in the spring and on warm days at the start of April the ground seems to be moving when the bees swarm. A parasitic beetle, Apalus bimaculatus, lives in the bee colonies. It is red with two black dots on its back.
A bog full of birdlife
Knuthöjdsmossen is the bog with the most ducks in the county, including the mallard, teal and goldeneye. Lapwing, green sandpiper, common snipe and curlew are also found here. The curlew’s call is accompanied by the cry of the common gull and the golden plover’s melancholy cheeping. The common snipe, crane and the green sandpiper are also found in the nature reserve.
However, Knuthöjdsmossen is particularly well-known as a breeding ground for the red-throated loon. A planked path leads round the area and from it there is a good chance to catch sight of one or more baby loons. Sometimes the birds sit on the eggs just a stone’s throw from the visitors. To avoid disturbing the birds you must not leave the path, particularly during the period 1 April to 15 July when the red-throated loom is breeding. The first part of the planked path onto the bog is broader and suitable for wheelchairs. The best time to visit Knuthöjdsmossen is in April and May.
Autumn is a blaze of colour when the leaves of plants such as the dwarf birch change. Another wonderful way to experience the bog is on skis in the winter.
How to get there
Follow road 63 towards Gåsborn-Sävsjön for 1.7 km. Turn right at a small sign to the nature reserve. Follow the road for 200 metres then turn left. The nature reserve is reached after 800 metres, where there is a toilet and car park.
In the nature reserve, you are not permitted to:
- Damage the ground surface or vegetation
- Disturb animals
- Start fires
- Drive motor vehicles or cycle, except on the road to the car park