The National Urban Park
The National Urban Park is a 27 km2 green area within the city of Stockholm that has been intensively managed for several hundreds years resulting in high natural and cultural values (Barthel et al. 2005). These values were publicly noticed during the end of the 2000th century when the exploitation pressure increased. This opinion finally resulted in a unique, legal protection of the area as a National Urban Park in 1995. Since then the legal protection has been tested in several juridical trials, concerning exploitation plans (Wirén 2002) and still two thirds of the land is unexploited (Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län 1999). The diverse historical land use has created a mosaic of biotopes where the northern parts are dominated by forests and the southern by designed parks. The biological diversity is especially rich, with for example 100 breeding bird species and 800 plants (Samfundet S:t Erik Stockholm 1995). Many of the species are dependent of the old-growth nemoral forest, primarily the Oaks, Querqus robur. The watercourses in the park suffer from eutrophication and pollution, and most of them are classified as especially sensitive. Three small wetlands constitute rich bird habitats of importance regionally (Stockholm Stad 2002). From the first human settlements during the Iron Age to the era of monasteries, ending in the 1680s, the agricultural land use was intensified (Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län 1999). In the 1600th century the Crown confiscated the land but it remained used for growing crops and grazing. In the 1680s the Crown converted a major part of the area into a hunting park and the Royal Djurgården Administration, RDA, became the primary manager. When hunting became outdated the following royalties created several palaces with surrounding parks and thereby founding many of today’s cultural values. Since 1809 the Swedish State owns the area, but it is still under the disposition of the Crown (Samfundet S:t Erik Stockholm 1995) and the RDA manages almost 80 per cent (Niklasson pers.com.). The dominating landowners are the Swedish State, the RDA, two real estate companies and the Stockholm Municipality. The municipalities of Stockholm and Solna are juridical responsible for land use planning, aimed to safeguard public interests. Stockholm Vatten Inc. is responsible for managing the watercourses. Furthermore, the Stockholm County Administration is responsible for stakeholder co-ordination (Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län 1996:2) and has gathered them into a co-operation forum aimed to create common principles of protection, management and development of the park. In the creation of the park the non-profit association Förbundet för Ekoparken acted as an umbrella for several NGOs and is now an active part of the co-ordination forum.
The Stockholm Woodland Cemetery
This cemetery of 1 km2 with more than 83 000 graves constitutes 50 per cent of the total cemetery area in the Stockholm Municipality (Kyrkogårdsförvaltningen 2001). When the cemetery was created, in the 1920s, the land was dominated by thick pine forest, Pinus sylvestris, with some elements of spruce, Picea abies, and the field layer consisted of scrub (Westerdahl 1995). The current park can be roughly divided into pine forest mixed with spruce, deciduous forest and open land. A dominating element is the 130-180 years old pine trees. Since the creation of the cemetery the forest has been thinned due to natural death, digging damages on the roots and mowing close to the trunk, meanwhile natural regeneration has been inhibited due to the changes of ground cover into grass. Therefore, besides taking care of graves and mowing lawns, most management is about replanting pines. In 1994 UNESCO designated the area as a World Heritage and since then the main goal of management is to preserve the Stockholm Woodland Cemetery in perpetuity, as it was constructed in the 1920s, meanwhile continuing with the burial ceremonies (Olsson 2 pers.com.). The land is owned by the Stockholm Municipality and managed by the Stockholm Cemeteries Administration. The buffer zone outside the stone-wall is managed by district councils within the Stockholm Municipality (Olsson 2 pers.com.). Besides relatives and visitors seeking serenity, this is also a popular cultural or historical site for tourists.
The Flaten nature reserve
This popular recreational area of 6 km2 situated 10 km south of Stockholm City became a nature reserve in 2004 aimed to protect both recreational and nature values. The central lake is surrounded by flat-rock pine forests and former fields and pastures in the valleys, now overgrown. The agricultural activity has declined since the beginning of the 2000th century (Lindholm et al. 2001:1-2) and the overgrown fields and pastures are the focus of today’s management. Some of the pastures have been restored by clearing away woody growth followed by annual grazing or manual grass removal as a measure for increased plant diversity, while the forests are left for free development. Since the 1950s the former fields are used by allotment garden association for recreational cultivation. In the late 1990s the level of phosphorus in the lake raised markedly because of sudden increased internal releases from the bottom sediments. To restore the once good water quality, the water manager Stockholm Vatten AB, created a sedimentation dam and also treated the bottom chemically. Stockholm Municipality owns the area and is also responsible for land management in co-operation with Skrubba Farm keeping the cattle for grazing and a local group of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation managing a former pasture (Olsson 1 pers.com). Besides people from the five allotment garden associations, the area is frequently visited by the general public for recreation purposes.
The Tyresta Forest
The Tyresta Forest is situated 20 km south-east of Stockholm and since 1993 the core area is protected as a National Park, 19.7 km2, with two surrounding Nature Reserves, 27.3 km2 (Naturvårdsverket 1993), acting as a buffer zone. The higher parts are covered with pine forests, Pinus sylvestris, and lower parts consist of mixed forests, wetlands and lakes. 70 per cent of the pine forest is older than 100 years, in some parts nearly 400 years old and these forests might harbour as many as 8000 species (Grundsten 2001). The forest dynamics is characterised by continuously disturbances like storm felling and fires. Historically this has been a sparsely populated area with some smaller farms using the forest only for household requirements and three farms remain in function today. Already in the 1930s Tyresta was a popular recreation area and in 1936 the Stockholm Municipality bought the land to restore these values. During the 1960s and 1970s there were several exploitation plans paralleled with attempts to enhance the formal protection that succeeded in the 1990s (Magnusson 1993). The land is mostly owned by the State and partly by the Stockholm Municipality. The management has been delegated to Tyresta Foundation consisting of representatives from the municipalities, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Stockholm County Administration.
The Tyresån Watershed
The Tyresån Watershed covers about 240 km2 with 38 lakes and approximately 200 000 inhabitants (Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län 1996:1). The water runoff starts in the higher forested areas in the west and then continues through the valleys eastward, towards the Baltic Sea. A large part of the surrounding land within the watershed is concrete, which increase pollution and creates fast runoff. In 1993 representatives from the six municipalities in the watershed, Stockholm County Administration and two water treatment enterprises formed a working team aimed to coordinate their managements. In 1995 a management plan was agreed upon, prioritizing eutrophication, acidification, nature preservation and recreation. The watershed co-operation group has no authority to make decisions or take measures and thereby the management plan has no legal status. It is the municipalities that are responsible for implementing the co-operation agreements into their respective land use plans, while the Stockholm County Administration proposes activities and act as a consultant to the municipalities. This watershed is popular for public recreation both informal and organized, for example local fishing associations. There are also several landowners and user groups like farmers and foresters, who use the land for economical purposes.