14 Koarp - Brammarp
Degree of difficulty
Leave civilisation far behind. Breathe the oxygen-rich forest air and the damp scents of wetlands. Watch for elk and the impressive territorial displays of capercaillies, or explore the decaying trees where beetles and sensitive lichens thrive. The remains of medieval agricultural spark the imagination.
Civilisation is just a memory as you wander through vast forests and wetlands, following along forestry tracks and stretches of boardwalk. If you are quiet, you might see an elk lumbering along, or a capercaillie or black grouse. These large birds are not elegant fliers, but the beauty of their plumage and the sophistication of their mating and territorial displays more than compensates.
Northwest of Koarp is the Musikedalen Valley. This valley has been difficult to access generally and so the experience here is true to nature. The name “Musikedalen” might derive from “music”, but it is more likely that it comes from the Swedish word “myskmadra” or sweetscented bedstraw (Galium odoratum), a flowering perennial plant that probably thrived here once upon a time. The valley contains lots of decaying tree trunks, which are attractive to sensitive lichens, fungi and beetles.
Just off the trail, are the wetlands of Djurholmamossen, Åstarpemosse and Pennebo. Permanent springs keep the area wet. Djurholmamossen is unique for Skåne and is a part of a recreation area, while Åstarpemosse is considered one of the most valuable wetlands in all of Sweden. From wetlands to the highest point in Halland – Högalteknall is 226 metres above sea level.
Ekered is a captivating area. Spend some time wandering amongst the large trees with wide crowns. Their rotting interiors provide hollows, an important habitat for all manner of insects – especially beetles – and birds. Nearby is the wet meadow of Ekered, where herbaceous plants flower wildly. If you come in early summer, the meadow is a mad explosion of yellow globe flowers and heath spotted orchids.
There is plenty of evidence of human activity around the reserve at Ekered. Some of this evidence is quite obvious in the stone walls and courtyard ruins. The name Ekered was first documented in the 1300s with a description of how the predominantly oak forests were cleared for construction of a village. The long narrow strip fields with parallel stone walls date from the early medieval period. During the 1900s, the last farms were abandoned and you can still see ruins from three farms abandoned in the 1940s. Arable fields and meadows (called in-fields) surrounded the village; Ekered Nature Reserve is one of these meadows.
As you walk through the spruce forests which have slowly taken over, notice the piles of stones – clearance cairns – evidence of fields once cleared for agriculture. Cattle paths and parallel stone walls tell us how animals were led past the cultivated areas to the "out-fields" where they grazed the woodland-rich pastures.
Along the section
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