Stenshuvud from a neighbour hill
Stenshuvud (Stone's head; named after the folk lore giant Stone) is the southernmost hill, and national park in Sweden, which stands out and can be seen from large parts of the Österlen coast.
(There is actually a hill further south, west of a old town called Simrishamn, which has had Swedish city rights since 1218, but that particular hill doesn't nearly have as much prominence)
SP member Dadndave scrambling on Stenshuvud
Due to it's proximity to the coast, Stenshuvud has been a landmark for sailors to rely upon for many centuries, and on a clear day, Stenshuvud can be seen from the island of Bornholm, 60 kilometres away.
On the summit of Stenshuvud one may find the remains of an ancient hill fort, dating back to the 6th century CE.
Stenshuvud is also renowned for it's great biodiversity; over 600 species of vascular plants are to be found here, as well as a dozen different genera of orchids, a diversity not found anywhere else at this latitude.
Remains of the 6th century hillfort
Crags on Stenshuvud. Photo credits; Lolli
Stenshuvud lies right on the Österlen coast, about 18 kilometres north of Simrishamn, and some 45 kilometres south of Kristianstad.
Kristianstad has direct flights to Stockholm by means of Skyways Express
; about SEK 600 - 2200,- one way.
Malmö, although further (110 kilometres), is a much cheaper option. Wizzair
are among the airlines that fly here.
Copenhagen has connections to every major city in the world, and it's just a short trip across the Öresundbron to Skåne.
By Train or bus
Malmö has direct trains to Simrishamn, where one can get a bus to Kivik and Stenshuvud Nat'l park. From Kristianstad one should get the bus (3) to Simrishamn and get off just past Kivik. The bus driver should know where to drop you off. Coming from Simrishamn this goes as well, but in the opposite direction; bus 3 to Kristianstad.
Stenshuvud is just off of highway 9 (Kristianstad-Simrishamn-Ystad), between Baskemölla and Kivik, by Södra Mellby. The national park is well signed from both directions.
The area has excellent marine infrastructure, and if you have a boat, you should definitely consider exploring Sweden's Baltic coast with it. Nearly every village in Österlen has some sort of marina, and Baskemölla is a particularly nice village. One will find vegetation along Österlen's protected coast more reminiscent of places much further south, giving the villages here a almost "un-Nordic" atmosphere to them.
Weather and Climate data
Looking down at the Baltic from the West Summit
Views from the East summit of Stenshuvud; photo credits; Lolli
Description and regulations of Stenshuvud National Park
Regulations for Stenshuvud National Park
Extract from Proclamation SNFS 1986:3
Proclamation SNFS (1986:3) concerning regulations for Stenshuvud National Park
In a decision made 30 April 1986, the Government has proclaimed the following:
In written communication rskr 1983/84:20, dated 29 March 1984, the Speaker of the Riksdag [Swedish Parliament] has given notice that the Riksdag has granted that the land owned or henceforth to be acquired by the State within designated areas of Stenshuvud shall be set aside as a national park in conformity with the guidelines previously noted (prop 1983/84: 100 bil 11, JOU 25, rskr 209).
Accordingly, the Government on 24 May 1984 directed the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to present a proposal to the Government regarding the final boundaries of the new national park, the administration of the park, and the principal regulations which may be required for the area.
In a written communication dated 7 April 1986, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency reported its findings in this regard. According to this communication, the national park should include the land within a boundary indicated on an accompanying map. Certain areas within the boundary have not yet been acquired by the State.
The Government prescribes that land now belonging to the State within the area of Stenshuvud and located within the Municipality of Simrishamn, as indicated on the map supplied by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, shall be set aside as a national park to be named Stenshuvud National Park.
The purpose of Stenshuvud National Park is to preserve a magnificent natural area with special geological and biological conservation values, and with great importance for active forms of outdoor recreation.
The national park shall be maintained and administered in conformity with that purpose.
In accordance with the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act (1976:484), it is the responsibility of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to issue specific instructions for the administration of the national park, and the regulations that are necessary to fulfil the stated purpose of the national park. It is also the responsibility of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to publicly announce its decisions in this regard, and to inform the Government when the remaining land acquisitions within the area have been completed.
Based on the Government‘s decision, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency prescribes the following:
1. Administrative details
Name: Stenshuvud National Park
Municipalities and county: Simrishamn in Skåne County
Parishes: Södra Mellby and Rörum
Properties: Svabesholm 1:33 and 1:60
Location: Top kbl (2 E SV)
Ek kbl (2 E 3 a, 4 a)
Centre-of gravity co-ordinates: 6171/1403
Boundaries: The boundaries of the national park are indicated on a section of the properties map at a scale of 1:10 000 which is kept by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The boundaries are also indicated on the enclosed general map.
Area: The land area consists of 242 hectares (Crown land according to the general map)
Looking North from North summit.
South of Kivik on the east coast of the Skåne region, Stenshuvud rises majestically from the Baltic shore to form the southeastern terminus of Linderödsåsen, a ridge of primary rocks. The bedrock consists of reddish gneiss. There are two prominent heights within the park, including the “stone head“ (Stenshuvud) after which the park is named; it lies to the north and rises to 97 metres above sea level. The elevation of Kortels huvud, the southern height, is over 80 metres. The topography is otherwise characterized by gentle slopes to the sea, which consist of loose sediments of gravel, sand and clay.
Most of the park is covered in broad-leaved forest. Growing on the eastern, seaward slope of the northern height is a wood of short and knotty oaks, here and there scattered with lindens and other broad-leaved species. The woods dominated by beech trees are located primarily in the southern section. But it is, above all, hornbeamwhich characterizes the forests of the national park. These trees have matured primarily during the 20th century as a result of reduced grazing pressure. Scattered among the hornbeams are ancient oaks and beeches with majestic crowns, reminding of an earlier period of wooded grazing land. Most of the woods have a profusion of annual plants. Large parts of Stenshuvud are still used for grazing. In the southern section of the park, there is a large expanse of open heath.
The flora of the Stenshuvud area displays great biodiversity. An inventory conducted during 1970-1971 found some 450 vascular plants. At least 18 of the protected species in Kristianstad County occur within the park. With regard to cryptograms, the coastal moss flora is of particular interest.
A mild and favourable climate, in combination with the widely varying habitats of the Stenshuvud area, create conditions for an abundant and diverse animal life. Several rare and threatened species have been found here, including the dormouse, common tree frog, agile frog, sand lizard and smooth snake. Among the larger animals present are the roe deer, red fox and, especially, the rabbit. The rabbit is at times abundant, but the local population is very isolated in the area. Due to the variety of habitats in the national park, the birdlife is very diverse. The insect fauna is also highly diverse, with several rare species. Especially worth noting are the ground beetle, grey bush-cricket, and the wood beetles dependent on large broad-leaved trees.
Grazing pressure was much greater in previous centuries than it is today, but the forest never disappeared completely. In some places, the inhabitants grew thickets of small trees that were cut down every ten years or so; the slender cuttings were used for firewood, fencing and tools. During certain periods, there have also been small patches of cropland.
There is an area near Hällevik in the northern section of the forest with exotic trees and shrubs that were introduced at the start of the 20th century by Carl Ekenstam, the county gardener at the time. Stenshuvud has long been a popular destination for outings, and currently attracts about 200,000 visitors annually.
Proterra and Spoonriver on the summit.
3. Regulations for the national park, based on the second paragraph of § 5 and the second paragraph of § 6 of the of the Nature Conservation Act
B. Regulations for the general public
In addition to whatever else applies, it is forbidden to:
* dig up or in any other way damage permanent natural objects or surface features
* break off branches of, cut down or in any other way damage living or dead trees and shrubs
* gather or dig up plants
* gather or trap insects or other animals, or in any other way disturb animal life.
* fish, except in the sea with handgear; in addition, Chapter 3, § 4 of the Swedish Board of Fisheries (FIFS 1983:15) applies within the no-fishing zone along the north branch of the Rörum River
* set up tents
* light fires
* bring unleashed dogs or other free-ranging house pets into the park; in addition, there is a complete prohibition for dogs or other house pets on bathing beaches during the period from 15 June–1 September
* land aircraft
* ride horses
* operate or park vehicles other than on designated roads and in parking areas
* park or set up caravans and the like between midnight and 6:00 a.m. every day
* set up orienteering checkpoints, or mark trails with paper strips, etc.
* set up notice boards, posters and the like
* conduct scientific studies without permission of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
* conduct commercial activities without permission of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
4. Regulations concerning the management of nature conservation, based on §§ 5 and 6 of the Nature Conservation Act
A. Purpose of management
The purpose of Stenshuvud National Park is to preserve a magnificent natural area with special geological and biological conservation values, and with great importance for active forms of outdoor recreation. In order to fulfil that purpose, the following considerations apply: Forest areas which are dominated by broad-leaved trees shall be allowed to develop naturally. In addition, in order to ensure abundant and differentiated flora and fauna, with special consideration to typical species of the area that are worthy of protection, grazing shall continue in most of the areas that have been grazed during recent decades. In this connection, a mosaic of open and more densely vegetated sections shall be preserved. Fruit orchards and exotic tree species shall be gradually removed. The area‘s natural hydrology shall not be disturbed. Outdoor recreation within the national park shall be encouraged, but channelled in such a way that sensitive plant and animals species and habitats are not disturbed.
[img:455279:aligncenter:medium:Proterra and Spoonriver on the summit.]
Camping is illegal anywhere in the National park. However, Österlen is highly touristic, and there are many developed camping sites all around the area.