The Right of Public Access

The wonderful Swedish nature is open to all of us through the Right of Public Access. We can enjoy land, ocean and islands with lovely scents from flowers and seaweed. Listening to birdsongs and experiencing flowering meadows. Hearing the ocean and the silence that spreads towards the horizon.

We must also be careful with nature. We must show consideration to other people and to animals.

In order to care for our heritage, we love to leave nature in a better condition when we are leaving – than when we arrived. It’s all about; Not disturb. Not destroy!

Wild camping, boat, beach and swimmers

You may camp (and moor your boat) for 24 hours, even on private land, provided that the land is not a house plot, cultivated land or specifically banned access by authority, for example, the protection of wild bird life or other restrictions. Note that there are restrictions in the nature reserves and on the mainland in some municipalities with residential areas close to the sea. Carefully note the signs that are available. You must be careful not to disturb the landowner or cause any damage. You cannot pre book a wild camping spot in the archipelago.

NOTE. This applies to individuals, not groups. Groups larger than a normal sized family must also obtain the landowner’s permission. You always have to stay out of sight and hearing of residential buildings. You must not block roads / paths used by the landowner.

Rowing, sailing, paddling or driving a motorboat on someone else’s water is allowed. Please note that there may be special bans, such as speed limits and quiet zones, access bans or water skiing bans. The requirement for consideration is extra strong for those who travel by motorboat.

Grazing animals must not be disturbed. Bird and seal protection areas are marked on charts and it is your responsibility as a guest to inform yourself about where they are. Within these areas, it is forbidden to disembark and you must not stop/moor closer than 100 m from the beach.

You should also keep the beaches free from boats and kayaks, to facilitate swimming for other visitors. Tents should also be placed so that beach and swimming activities can continue, giving opportunity for others to enjoy beach life.

Pay attention to the local regulations that may restrict your right to camp, moor your boat and park your car, camper or caravan.

Lighting of fires

The right of public access gives you no general right to start a fire. During the summer, there may be a fire ban and this also applies to the islands in the archipelago. Occasionally there is a total fire ban, stipulating that all use of open fire is forbidden, including the use of barbecues, outdoor kitchens and the like. It is your duty as a guest in the area to inform yourself of any fire bans. For an update on the fire ban situation, please see the respective municipality’s website or on; https://www.msb.se
You can also download the app “Brandrisk Ute”.

A fire must be extinguished properly prior to leaving the site. You may be liable for damages if the fire spreads.
Never light a fire directly on the rock as they may crack and leave ugly scaring that nature cannot repair.

Bring the rubbish back ashore

If you have camped or have had a picnic in the archipelago, you are obliged to clean up after yourself. All rubbish you have brought amassed must be brought back ashore. Littering is forbidden. Please keep in mind that many visitors arriving after you will want to experience our beautiful nature.

Rubbish left behind can be spread by birds and rodents, destroying nature and can kill animals. Feel free to bring an extra litter bag and collect rubbish that has floated ashore with the wind and the ocean currents. Together we will care for the beautiful the archipelago!

Recycling stations are located in each village where you can leave newspapers, glass, paper, metal and plastic packaging. During the summer, there are also, in direct connection to the ports, a small number of waste containers for mixed waste dedicated primarily to kayak tourists and leisure boats. We have marked on the map where you can dispose of and sort your rubbish. In the ports you will also find this service and much more that you can use for a fee.

Picking flowers and berries

You must not take branches, twigs, bark, leaves, acorns, pine cones, nuts or resin from growing trees. You must not pick oysters. It is considered vandalism or theft. Of course, you must not cut down growing trees and shrubs.

You may pick wild berries, flowers, mushrooms, fallen branches and dry twigs on the ground. Some flowers are so rare that they risk becoming extinct. Such flowers are protected and must never be picked. Find out at, for example “Länsstyrelsen”, which plants are protected in the area you are visiting.

Keep the dog on a lead

Dogs are allowed in nature, but during the period 1 March – 20 August they must be kept on a lead in the woods and on open spaces. Dogs must be kept under constant supervision, not to cause any harm, at all times.

Please, be aware that there are animals such as goats, sheep, cows, horses, etc on some islands. Therefore, do not let your dog of the lead when entering an island until you have surveyed the surroundings and are in control of the situation.

To travel in forest and land

It is forbidden to drive a car, motorcycle, moped and other motor vehicles in the terrain or on roads that are closed for motor traffic. Such roads can be marked with the sign ”Förbud mot trafik med motordrivet fordon” or ”Enskild väg”.

Pay attention to the local regulations that may limit your right to park and set up your camper or caravan. More information can be found on the respective municipality’s website.

Where there are no restrictions through nature reserves, Natura 2000 area and similar or local regulations, you can park immediately next to the road. Be sure to set a car and a caravan so that they do not prevent anyone from arriving or becoming a danger to the traffic.

You can pass fenced areas, only if you do not damage fences or scare the animals. Gates you have opened, you must close properly so that cattle do not come loose. Of course, you are not allowed to climb over fencing to the private ground.

Use of jet skis

You can only drive jet skis in public fairways and areas that have been approved by the County Administrative Board. If you violate the rules, you can be fined.

Ordinance (1993: 1053) on the use of jet skis (free translation)

2 § Watercraft / jet ski may only be used in public waterways and in water areas referred to in section 3 §, first paragraph. Ordinance (2004: 607).
3 § The County Administrative Board may issue regulations on which water areas in the county, in addition to public waterways, which watercraft /jet ski may be used in…
3 b § The person who is driving a jet ski shall adapt the route, speed and mode of transport so that people and animals are not disturbed unnecessarily. Ordinance (2004: 607).

After an EU judgment, the police do not use the law room above, but they do instead intervene with the support of the Maritime Law

Chapter 20, 3 § The person who takes such a route, keeps such speed or otherwise by ship* traveling so that he unnecessarily disturbs the surroundings sentenced to monetary fines.
* Watercraft / jet ski is considered a ship.

Sources: https://www.lansstyrelsen.se/vastra-gotaland/privat/djur-och-natur/motortrafik-i-naturen.html and http://www.notisum.se/rnp/sls/lag/19931053. htm

Not disturb not destroy.
This is the main sentence in The Right of Public Access.

Read more about The Right of Public Access;
https://www.naturvardsverket.se/Documents/publikationer6400/978-91-620-8522-3.pdf?pid=4204