The freedom to roam
Every summer we pack a backpack with firewood, sausages, a coffee pot, extra mosquito repellent and a proper forest knife. A knife that can peel apples as well as carve grill sticks. Then we’re off into the forest, wearing wellies, the entire family. Time for harvest.
In Sweden everyone can to wander in the forest, pick berries, camp and make a fire. To be able to access nature is a right to us. A right defined in what we call the Right of Public Access or “Freedom to roam”.
But as a wise man once said: with great freedom comes great responsibility.
You can spend time in every forest, pick berries and take them home, all according to this right of access. But you mustn’t cause damage to the soil and vegetation, like tearing up shrubs, removing bark, or picking large amounts of moss. There are also protected plants to take into account, so don’t pick flowers you don’t recognise. Of course you are not allowed to abuse another person’s private sphere, or land around houses, for example.
It’s fine to make a campfire where there’s no danger of the fire spreading, but never light a fire on a rock as stone can crack. You may burn cones and twigs lying on the ground, but not chop trees down, so bring a few pieces of firewood. You can buy them at the nearest petrol station. Make sure the fire is out before you leave. If you come to a place where there is already a fireplace available, use it instead of creating a new. Fire places become wounds in the ground that take time to heal.