Tyresta National Park

– on the edge of the city

Only 20 kilometres from the centre of Stockholm lies one of the most unspoilt areas of natural beauty in central Sweden – Tyresta National Park and Nature Reserve. The area is characterised by a rift valley landscape which is typical for central Sweden but unique from an international perspective.

The park extends over almost 5 000 hectares. It has been protected to preserve its exceptional natural values and to safeguard its importance for recreation. You can find primeval forest here with pine trees that are 400 years old, clear forest lakes and a large number of unusual plants and animals. You can also see broad-leaved deciduous woodland, open arable land and historical buildings of cultural interest.

A typical feature of primeval woodland is the great number of plant and animal species. Up to 8,000 species of animals can be found here, which is four times as many as in exploited forests! Many species are also completely dependent on primeval woodland for their habitats, indeed for their very survival!

naturum – your doorway to nature
In Tyresta national park’s information centre "naturum" you can learn most of what there is to know about the local area’s cultural heritage, geology, birds, insects and other animals. We offer guided tours, slide shows and group activities in Tyresta and in naturum. Most of them are available in English.

The Tyresta forest fire
In August 1999, around 4.5 square kilometres of forest or ten per cent of the national park and nature reserve burnt down. It was over one and a half weeks before fire fighters brought the fire under control and it was even longer before it was completely extinguished. The extremely hot and dry conditions contributed to the extent of the fire and made it very difficult to put out. The wind also complicated matters. At most, there were 400 fire fighters tackling the blaze using over 180 kilometres of fire hose. Water was obtained both from neighbouring lakes and the sea. 

After the fire
The fire in Tyresta National Park is a tragedy in many respects. Partly because the park is such a valuable area of unspoilt natural beauty so close to a large city, and partly because the fire caused havoc for plant and animal species that are dependent on an unharmed habitat. At the same time, fires are a natural part of the change process in primeval forests and far from disastrous from an ecological point of view. Fire creates the conditions for the natural regeneration of the forest.

Many species benefit from the natural chaos in the aftermath of a fire. New grass shoots forth and several species whose seeds have been buried in the soil can only begin to germinate after exposure to the intense heat. Many species of insect are completely dependent on fires in our landscape. Some of these have heat sensors and can detect the fire from a distance of many kilometres. Their lifecycle begins in the red hot ashes.

The area of the national park which burned was cordoned off for a long period of time but is now open to the public. The previous accident risk due to burnt roots causing many trees to fall has all but been eradicated and since Tyresta is a national park, the area of the fire, in common with other parts, will be allowed to develop freely. Footpaths which were destroyed have been restored to make the area accessible once again. The area is also being continuously documented and researchers are following the development of plant and animal life.

The "naturum" information centre arranges guided tours of the fire-stricken area, where you can witness the phenomena which characterise an area that has been ablaze.

Trails and footpaths
By means of the 55 kilometres of marked, colour-coded trails and footpaths running through Tyresta National Park and the adjoining Nature Reserve, visitors may experience the extensive ancient forest, the lakes with their impressive shoreline cliffs, or stroll all the way to the Baltic Sea!

For more information about the national park, naturum and our activities, please visit the Tyresta National Park website. Here, you will also find travel directions, information about accommodation and more!

Tyresta National Park and Nature Reserve and the Swedish National Parks Information Centre/nautrum are administrated by Tyresta Forest Foundation. For more information please contact Per Wallsten.

Title by Photographer