9 Landskrona - Järavallen
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Through the green town of Landskrona with its unique medieval fortress, and then along the west coast of mid Skåne. Ancient seashores meet today’s shoreline, and an ancient riverbed tells the story of the current river. Spectacular islands, fantastic opportunities for bird-watching, and unusual, salt-loving plants.
Walk along cycle tracks and streets through the green town centre of Landskrona, and then head south towards the open rural landscape. Why not take a ferry out to the island of Ven first? Unlike other nearby islands which are flat and low, Ven’s cliffs match the abrasion cliffs of the mainland where you hike. Steep abrasion sea cliffs, dramatic views, and the roads are virtually car-free.
On the banks of the Saxån River, there are grazed meadows and plants which have evolved to tolerate salt, for example, the sea aster, annual sea blite and sea wormwood. The river was once much longer, and the old river bed continues for some five or six kilometres out into the Öresund Sound. This old river bed is 150 -180 centimetres wide and up to fifteen metres deep. Old tree stubs and roots have also been found along the sea-covered river bed, which reveal that Öresund was covered with forest 10,000 years ago, and around the mouth of the river was a marsh. Today, there are birds in abundance, and large perch swim in the river.
Continue through Häljarp and along forestry tracks through Saxtorpskogen forest with its bilberry, cowberry and dwarf everlasting. The rare spadefoot toad lives in the man-made ponds. After passing another little community, you reach your destination – the Järavallen Recreation Area – consisting of a long, sandy beach with long lines of tangled seaweed and sand reefs offshore at low tide.
Erik of Pomerania – King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden – chose the fishing village of Södra Säby because of its excellent natural harbour when he decided to compete with the Hansa controlled towns in Denmark. He named this new port Landskrona. Its strategic location required good defences, and King Christian III of Denmark built the Citadel, with its two moats, in the mid-1500s purely for defensive purposes. Today, the seaside location adds beauty to the experience of visiting its well-preserved moat system, castle and park.
Below Landskrona’s defensive earthworks is the oldest garden allotment area in Sweden dating from the late 1800s. The first allotments were assigned to workmen and apprentices at the Citadel, but they became so popular that those nearest the inner moat were quickly taken over by the gentility. Saxtorpsskogen is the oldest woodland in Landskrona, planted to prevent sand drift. It contains the remains of an enclosure made of seaweed, from a period when neither wood nor stone was available.
As you leave Landskrona, notice man-made Gipsön Island, composed of gypsum, a bi-product from a fertiliser plant in Landskrona. The gypsum dumping started in 1978, and today there is a facility to prevent heavy metals from leaching out into Öresund Sound. As well, large quantities of fertile soil have been deposited there to encourage growth and today the greening efforts are yielding success, and hares and pheasants thrive on the island.
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