People have lived and worked here since ancient times. Generations of farmers have cultivated the area, which has created a mosaic of open land and forest. Since 1974, Årby is protected as a nature reserve and is now a popular outdoor recreation area. Here you can choose from a number of exercise tracks of different lengths. The purpose of the 110 ha reserve is to preserve a cultural history landscape and develop the natural, cultural and recreational values of the area.
MADE FOR ACTIVITIES
This nature reserve offers fine opportunities for outdoor recreation. Here are many exercise tracks of varying lengths. The longest track is 10 km and continues outside the reserve. At Naturstugan you find barbecue areas, a play area and an exhibition in what was once the old Årby farm. There are also perfect hills for sledging by the cottage.
USED FOR CENTURIES
In Årby Nature Reserve you walk through a varied, mosaic-like landscape. One minute you are in a coniferous or deciduous forest, and the next you look out over open fields. Here, farmers have grown crops, cut hay with scythes and grazed their cattle for centuries. Some plant species that you find in Årby originate from the old cultural landscape, such as common milkwort, dropwort and devil’s-bit scabious. They thrive in open environments and would disappear if grazing stopped.
In the forest and on islets in the cultivated land are several grave fields – prehistoric cemeteries. The graves, which are between 2,500 and 1,000 years old, vary. Some are piles of stones, other have stones placed in a circle or square. Some graves have become overgrown and are difficult to find. The rune stone to the east of Naturstugan is easy to find, though! It is around 1,000 years old and is one of approximately 400 rune stones in Södermanland County.
If you visit the nature reserve in spring, you may hear robin, chaffinch and other small birds. In May, when shrubs like sloe flower at the forest edges, a myriad of bees and other insects hunt for nectar and pollen. In late summer and autumn, a peculiar fungus may appear at the base of old pines – cauliflower fungus.
Take care of nature
Within the reserve it is forbidden to:
- break off branches, fell or in any other way damage living or dead standing or fallen trees or shrubs
- damage, pick or gather plants, fungi or lichens (picking berries, edible mushrooms and flowers for own use is, however, permitted)
- catch or collect invertebrate animals in a way that damages or destroys their habitats or reproduction areas
- deliberately disturb wildlife (for example by climbing in nesting trees, removing birds’ eggs, or close-up photography of birds’ nests, lairs, burrows or similar)
- bring unleashed dogs
- drive motorised vehicles other than on roads and parking areas designated for that purpose
- put up boards, placards, posters, signs or make inscriptions
- light fires other than in prepared fireplaces.