Welcome to the Nature and Culture Trail on Fårö!

(Property Unit: Fårö Dämba 1:59)

 

The land, through which the waymarked trail passes, covers an area of 15 hectacres, and was previously owned by the Swedish Fortifications Agency. The area is varied, firstly as regards natural habitats (heath, sparse pine forest with glades varying in size), and secondly as regards traces of previous generations’ struggle for survival, by way of some thirty different types of historical remains. These include graves from the Bronze and Iron Ages, a root cellar (probably 19th century), two lime kilns (19th and 20th century) and vestiges of agriculture, such as clearance cairns, ditches from former fields and probable remains of a hut where sheep could seek winter forage and shelter in bygone days.

 

The trail begins here at the information board and runs a few hundred metres along the gravel track ending at Klintsbrovik. Beside the gravel track, you may notice some yellow-marked pines, which indicate a key habitat for insects and birds. Three species of yellow-flowered Sedum grow here – Biting stonecrop, Reflexed stonecrop and Tasteless stonecrop. After the buildings, follow the waymarks which run alongside the somewhat ill-defined forest track to the right. You are now at the beginning of the heathland, which comprises a thin layer of soil covered with Juniper and ground-layer plants such as Wild thyme and three species of thistle: Carline thistle, Musk thistle and Dwarf thistle (1). Harefoot clover and Reflexed stonecrop can also be found here. One plant, which dominates the entire area at certain times of the year, is Vincetoxicum, or Swallow-wort. It is the host plant of Gotland’s official provincial insect, Harlequin bug (known locally as the ‘Church bug’), and the previous year’s stalks have been said to have been used as a fibre plant.

 

Towards the far edge of the heath, you will see the first of about ten cairns, which can be said to be largely aligned. Their exact function is not really known, although the two main theories are graves or clearance cairns. The absence of soil between the piles would raise doubts as to the latter theory, while the fact that the cairns have been raised in sunken areas would cast doubts on the former theory. There is, however, no doubt whatsoever that they are the result of human activity.

 

The trail diverts up towards a forest track, where you will see a pine that was struck by lightning in May 2013. Strangely enough, the lightning branched into two and followed the damp layer between the wood and bark of the tree. Note that the lightning ‘skipped over’ a dry bough (2).

Carry on down the track until you reach a series of cairns (3), keep walking downhill. Note all the gnarled pines which, despite their stunted growth, may be around one hundred years old. Keep to the right, where you will pass a few more cairns before you see a larger power cable with three wires, which supply all of Fårö’s electricity.

 

The trail follows the power cable, and on the left you will see a smaller ruin of a former sheep hut (4), to which an upper floor was later added (the lower part has lime mortar between the stones).  Keep walking beneath the power cable for a further 200 metres, until you reach the sheep fence. You have now arrived at a root cellar (5), with its original stone floor still intact. The stove is there for the use of the visitor, and you may also use the cooking equipment (lift up the decoration on top of the stove and you will find a hob). You can make a fire, using the lighting materials in the plastic box and dry wood in the wood-pile outside the cellar.

 

The actual trail bears to the right just after the sheep hut and follows a power line corridor with a power cable. It passes several cairns, after which you will see a clearing on the right, where the track diverges to the largest cairn in the area (6). The cairn may be a Bronze Age grave and at present it is host to a large Whitebeam (Sorbus), which rises from the cairn. At the foot of the cairn, there are the remains of a ditch running at an angle to the cairn. Up to the early 20th century, there was a field further down from the ditch.

 

Return to the trail beneath the smaller power cable, walk up the hill and cross the stile. Drop down the slope and bear slightly right – you are now in the vicinity of the two lime kilns (7). The next information board indicates the most distinct Iron Age grave, now overgrown with three gnarled pines (8). The track then heads along a former shingle beach ridge, formed some 5000 years ago. There are at least eight graves on the ridge, dating from the first years of the Common Era. As you approach the buildings, the trail crosses a stile and runs along the land boundary back to the starting point. Please feel free to sit down at the campsite and relax a while, before heading home.

 

To start off on your walk, go down the gravel track, following the waymarks. The trail is marked with logs, painted with white markers at the top, and its length is about 1200 metres, excluding the diversion to the root cellar. We are convinced that your walk here will enhance your visit to Fårö.

 

If you have any questions, viewpoints or wish to contact the landowner for a guided tour, please feel welcome to contact us!

 

Fam. Brobäck

 

Tel: 0046 (0)70 636 57 22.  Follow us on Facebook: damba159 or our homepage: www.dambaskogen.se

Key:

Kulturstig – Culture trail

Väg till Klintsbrovik – Track leading to Klinsbrovik

Kraftledning – Power cable

Stätta – Stile

Gravar – Graves

Lägerplats – Campsite

Här står du – You are here

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