Welcome to Sotterns skärgård

The Sottern nature reserve was established to give better protection to the sensitive birdlife in the area. For example, many black-throated divers and ospreys breed in the lake.

Lake Sottern is situated 72 metres a.s.l. and, with its area of 28 square kilometres, it is Örebro county’s fifth largest lake. The lake was formed north of a fault scarp that runs east-west, and is deepest in the south (approximately 20 m), gradually becoming shallower towards the north. In the nature reserve, the depth seldom exceeds 4 metres. The nature reserve comprises many islands, islets and skerries, where the rock in many places outcrops to form flat rocks in the beach zone. There are large stones and blocks. The increasing number of recreational boats has increased disturbance of many bird species in their breeding period. Most disturbance is unintentional but, in certain cases, the wardens have noted pure negligence, like swimming in the middle of a tern colony or camping beside a clearly visible osprey nest. An osprey nest is often visible near the top of a pine tree. Please do not get too close to the shore and do not go ashore! The chicks are most sensitive during chilly and rainy weather or in strong sunshine at the start of the summer; they can die of cold, drought or thirst. Normally, five to ten pairs of ospreys breed in Lake Sottern.

Around 20 pairs of black-throated divers breed in the nature reserve. They build their nests on flat rocks on the shoreline, under bushes close to deep water. They are often frightened by passing boats. Crows an ravens then often take the chance to plunder the nests.

Landing on the breeding islands increases the risk of the eggs cooling so between 15 April and 15 July, landing on certain islands is prohibited. When you see a black-throated diver near the beach, you can be sure that it has a nest nearby. From 15 April to 1 August, landing is prohibited on islands where ospreys are breeding, except on certain islands where camping is permitted. The common tern breeds in colonies on flat rocks in May and June. Please do not go ashore near colonies during this most sensitive period!

Flora and fish

Pine dominates on the larger islands, but there are also large numbers of birch, alder and aspen. Bilberry and lingonberry often comprise the undergrowth and lily of the valley is found on certain islands. Several of the islands have been subject to fire relatively recently, and young birch forest is now found among the surviving pines. Vegetation on some islands resembles native forest, and Sottern archipelago probably has the county’s biggest collection of very old pines. The variety of fish has made Lake Sottern a popular lake for fishing. Species include pike, perch, roach, burbot, bream, white bream, rudd, bleak and smelt, as well as zander, whitefish and eel, which were introduced in the 1930s.

How to get there

Several villages lie near Sottern, including Svennevad, Kilsmo and Brevens bruk.

In the nature reserve, you are not permitted to:

  • disturb animal life by, for example, taking close-up photographs of birds’ nests or climbing in nesting trees
  • remove branches, cut down or damage in any other way living or dead trees or bushes
  • have dogs unleashed
  • during the period 15 April–15 July land on islands or travel by boat, canoe or similar in the water area west of a line from Sofieholmen through the sound northwest of Stora Gröningen to Gillberga peninsula
  • during the period 15 April–1 August land on islands with breeding osprey (does not include the islands under section 8 below)
  • moor boats or take up them ashore on the beaches of islands and mainland
  • ight fires except where designated
  • camp, except on the islands of Trindholmen, Norrholmen, Kärringholmen and Stora Gröningen, and then only for a maximum of one night
  • set up noticeboards, placards, poster, inscriptions or similar


Established: 1997

Area: 710 ha, of which 10 ha are land

Landowner: Brevens Bruks AB

Managed by: County Administrative Board

Established by: County Administrative Board

The area is part of the EU network Natura 2000