Nature is of extra importance to a lot of people these days. It’s great to get outdoors, but there are also rules that we need to follow, and they can vary from one nature reserve to another. Are you allowed ride a bike? Start a fire or light a barbecue? Take the dog? Or camp out? We’ve put together a lot of great tips and important things to keep in mind before you set off.
One important first step is to check in advance what the rules are for the area that you’ll be visiting. That way it will be more enjoyable for you and better for the natural environment.
Five things to keep in mind before you head into the great outdoors
- Research the area you are going to visit. Then you can find out information about how busy it is and maybe choose another day or time to visit and avoid congestion.
- What are the rules in the nature reserve you were thinking of visiting? Are there specific rules other than the general right to roam? Find out before you set off!
- Discover new areas. Think about whether you could choose an area that isn’t the most popular. Maybe now is a good time to discover new places? Check the tips on the local county council’s website.
- How will you get to the nature reserve? Can you cycle or walk there to avoid congestion in the carpark?
- Will you be having a little picnic or coffee break? Plan ahead and take a bag with you to keep rubbish and food waste in so you can take it home with you.
If you’re going to visit a nature reserve or national park
In Dalarna, there are over 360 nature reserves to visit. The type of nature varies greatly with everything from rolling fields, expansive forests and bustling swamps to blooming meadows and pastures.
- By protecting nature, you and other people get to experience it, now and in the future. There are specific rules in protected areas for the preservation of nature itself.
- Different areas have different rules. There could be special regulations about, for example, starting a fire/lighting a barbecue, camping, dogs or cycling.
- Check the area’s rules before you set off. Maybe there are a lot of people there at the moment and you might need to choose another day or time to avoid congestion?
- Discover new areas! If there are other nature reserves near you, could you choose another one, not just the most popular one right now?
- If the carpark is full - choose another nature reserve! Maybe you can go there by bicycle or walk there instead of driving? You can find nature reserves and national parks on Dalarna County Council’s website, as well as detailed information about the rules in each area.
If you want to sleep outdoors
The right to roam allows you to camp overnight in the outdoors. Here are some tips for spending the best night possible outdoors:
- Check out the area where you are thinking of camping. In some areas it might not be allowed.
- Put your tent up on solid ground. You’re not allowed to camp on pastures or agricultural land or crop plantations.
- Don’t camp near people’s homes.
If you want to ride a bike
According to the right to roam, you can ride a bicycle in nature but make sure to do it in such a way that you don’t damage the ground. Here are a few tips for people planning to go cycling in nature during the summer.
- Don’t ride over someone’s private plot or over tree plantations with young plants that could get damaged.
- Avoid cycling in places where the ground is wet or easily damaged, for example rocks with mosses and lichens, or on meadows or wetlands.
- The right to roam doesn’t apply to electric bikes.
Ride on designated cycle paths
In Dalarna you can find the cycling network, Biking Dalarna, which consists of 21 cycling areas with a total 1400 km of designated trails for cross country riding and 25 downhill trails, from Säfsen in the south to Idre Fjäll in the north. The trails are specially created for cycling and use the same trail markings to make them easier to find.
If you want to have a fire/barbecue
The right to roam does not give any automatic right to start fires in the outdoors. Check for any possible fire-lighting bans before you light up your bonfire. The local council and krisinformation.se are the main places to get up-to-date information on fire-lighting bans.
If you are allowed to light a fire/barbecue, keep in mind that:
- The best place to start a fire/barbecue is in existing, organised fire-lighting locations.
- Only light fires/barbecues where the fire can’t spread or damage plants, animals, or the ground, for example on gravel or sandy soil.
- Don’t light fires on moss, peat, earthy forest floors, or cliffs.
- Always have water in close reach.
- Take your single-use barbecue and any rubbish home with you afterwards.
If you’re taking your dog
Between 1st March and 20th August you need to keep an extra close eye on your dog when you are out in nature. This is to protect wild animals and birds during their most vulnerable time, when they’ve had babies.