- Come out into the woods with me!
1. Follow Kurrekott!
-Hello! My name is Kurrekott and I am a red squirrel. I live here in Brunnsskogen. Come out into the woods with me and I will show you some lovely places.
You will also meet some of my friends.
This footpath with white markers is 1.3 km long. Parts of it go through very hilly terrain and you need to step over roots and stones. It starts with a steep stairway up Uvberget,
then on through the woods to Lake Trollsjön, Rävahiet and back again.
Open up your senses and enjoy Brunnsskogen’s wonderful nature!
2. Insect Hotel
-Insects are amazing!
They are important for the plants and animals in the woods,
as well as for people. Butterflies, bumblebees and solitary bees help pollinate plants so that they can produce fruits and seeds.
Such as apples, strawberries and cherries. Yum! I love nuts and seeds! Can you see any insects?
We can help many threatened insects by building homes for them.
Solitary bees like holes of different sizes. The holes should be at least five centimetres deep. We can also ensure there are plants that the insects like, such as fruit trees and meadow flowers. This provides them with food in the form of sweet nectar and pollen.
3. Polypody Fern (- Spores Instead of Seeds)
-The polypody is a small fern. It is green all year round, even in the winter. It often grows on rocks and stones. You can eat the root, which tastes bitter, sweet and a little of liquorice. But we squirrels do not like it. Yuck! It used to be used by humans as a cough medicine.
On the underside of the leaves there are often small brown spots.
This is where the spores are; the seeds of the polypody fern.
The spores are spread by the wind
which allows the polypody fern to grow in new places.
Can you find any brown spots with spores?
-We squirrels are not afraid of heights. We love sitting high up in swaying trees. But we are careful in open areas, like this.
Where we might get eaten up by something.Such as an eagle owl.
There is one!
Can you see it?
Uvberget, or Östra Utsikten (the Eastern Viewpoint), is 30 metres high. If you look to the north you can see Ronneby town centre and the old water tower. To the south you can see the spa Brunnshotellet and the water park. To the east, straight through the trees, you can just see the Naturum Visitor Centre.
5. Spruce and Pineapple Gall Aphids
-Spruce is the most common tree in Sweden. And we squirrels are happy about that. Because spruce cones contain nice seeds.
Goodness me, can I eat a lot of seeds! Especially in the winter
when it is hard to find berries, fungi and insects which squirrels also like. But it is a bit fiddly to get the seeds out of a spruce cone, because the seeds are a long way in. If I eat 30 spruce cones in one day, I get very full up and that keeps me going until the next day.
If you look carefully on the branches of the spruce, you can see small balls that look like cones. They look like tiny pineapples and are called “pineapple galls”. These are ‘nurseries’ for the pineapple gall aphid. Each little pineapple has been home to more than a hundred aphids. In the summer the aphids grow and develop wings.
Then they fly off in search of a larch tree which will be their new home until the autumn.
6. Bilberry and Cowberry (– Woodland Treasures)
-I love bilberries!
Cowberries are also good but taste a little sour.
Both bilberries and cowberries are very good for you.
They make you strong and keep you healthy
if you eat them. Feel the difference between the leaves of bilberry and cowberry! Bilberry leaves are thin and fall off in the autumn.
Cowberry leaves are thick and hard and the stay on the plant even through the winter.
7. Dead Trees Full of Life
-There are lots of us that like dead trees. They are full of life.
Fungi, mosses and lichens grow on them. Many insects find food and live in the trees. Even birds and bats like dead trees.
Woodpeckers can make holes here and find insects to eat. Can you see the black woodpecker in the tree?
Many insects only live in dead trees. A rare species that lives here in Brunnsskogen is the stag beetle. The stag beetle lives as a larva for 4-5 years, in dead tree trunks, roots and stumps. In June, the adult beetles emerge to mate. Dead trees of different species are vital for the life in the woods.
8. Pine – the Raven’s Favourite
-We have now come into the pine woodland. Pine does not need much to survive. It can grow where there is almost no soil and very little water. Such as here, on the top of the hill. The seeds in the pine cones are very tasty. Yum-yum-yum!
Can you spot any pine cones?
The raven is a bird that thrives in woodland. They like to build their nests high up in a pine tree. Ravens are clever and have one of the largest brains of all birds. They can live for 15 years with the same partner for their whole lives. They often nest in the same spot year after year.
Can you see the raven in the tree?
9. Birds Like Nest Boxes
-Many birds have difficulty finding places to live. Not squirrels,
because we like to build our nests high up in the spruce trees.
To help the birds, you humans can build and put up nest boxes.
Different birds like different boxes. How many boxes and birds can you spot?
The starling is a dark-coloured bird with a beautiful metallic shine and white spots on its plumage. It is one of the earliest spring birds to arrive. It nests close to humans and readily in nest boxes.
The starling is most well-known for its song. It can sing in many different ways and gladly mimics other birds. They fly away in large flocks in the early autumn, sometimes thousands of them, forming small clouds.
10. Lake Trollsjön
-Squirrels do not like swimming. Yuk, you get so wet and cold in your fur. But toads and grass snakes that live here by the lake like swimming. The toads hop into the lake early in the spring, when they are ready to mate. Their eggs are called spawn. Toads lay their spawn in long strings, whilst frogs lay them in clumps.The toads then go back up onto land again and live around the lake and in the woods, whilst the spawn develop into small tadpoles in the lake.
Lake Trollsjön (the Magic Lake) got its name when the lake and the surrounding area were purchased by the health spa company Hälsobrunnen AB in 1873.
Before then it was called Lake Bålebrogölen. To attract the spa visitors to the lake, it was given a more romantic name: Lake Trollsjön.
11. The Badger – Sleeps all Winter
-Say hello to my friend the badger! She is very good at digging.
The badger finds tasty insects and roots to eat underground.
And she also digs her home in the ground, which is called a sett.
Sometimes the sett is as big as a castle, with chambers at different levels and many entrances. It may have been used for more than a hundred years.
In the winter, large families gather in the sett. They gather to go to sleep. They sleep for the whole winter. Squirrels can’t do that.
I would get too hungry and I need to have food the whole time.
12. The Fox
-Mr Fox is a sly one. One I prefer to hide from.
Foxes like to eat small animals, but luckily for me, they are not very good at climbing. You are welcome to go and say hello and sit on the fox.
The ravine that you will soon pass was created by man, just over a hundred years ago. They blew up the rock to be able to take water from the lake and lead it to the large old spa hotel called Brunnshotellet.
13. Beech Woodland – Shady and Lush
- Now we have come into the broadleaved woodland.
It is mostly beech that grows just here. I think beech woodland is so beautiful. It is bright green in the spring and colourful orange in the autumn.
Can you see any lovely leaves?
There is often plenty of water as well as nutrients in beech woodlands, but not much sunlight. The beech leaves create a dense, green roof which lets little light through. The plants on the ground flower early in the spring, before the leaves have come out.
Wood anemone, woodruff and coral root are some of the plants that thrive here.
14. The Oak – Full of Life
-The oak is the most popular tree in the woods. Masses of mosses, fungi, insects and birds thrive in old oaks. The old oaks are often a bit decayed and have some holes. This is good!
Insects, birds, bats and even us squirrels can creep in and hide in these holes. Have you met my friend the nuthatch? A quick and loud little bird, which looks like a bandit with the black mask across its eyes. The nuthatch is the only bird that can run with its head upside down on the tree. The nuthatch hides acorns to have as food during the winter. Just like I do.
Can you see anything that lives in or on the oak?
-Hazel is my favourite tree! Can you guess why?
Exactly, I just loooove hazelnuts.In the autumn I collect as many as I can
and hide them in old trees and stumps.
Lovely to chew on when the winter gets cold.
I am very happy that you came with me along the Ekorrestigen (The Red Squirrel Trail).
If you want to learn more about me and the life in the woods, visit the Naturum Visitor Centre.
Bye for now!
This old oak has been saved to help wildlife.
Dead and dying trees, and especially oaks, are important for a range of different organisms such as insects, mosses, lichens and fungi.
Birds and different mammals also use hollow trees.
Dead wood is lacking in the modern landscape, and many species that are dependent upon this habitat have become rare.
By saving dead trees you can thus help lots of different species.