Store Mosse, “the Big Bog”, was designated a national park because it is the largest untouched mire in southern Sweden. The vegetation resembles the wilderness in Lapland and, with some luck, you may spot moose and golden eagle. The size of the national park corresponds to 10 840 football fields and we have more than 40 kilometres of walking tracks and board walks. Welcome to explore Store Mosse National Park!
In the beginning…
As the ice-cover melted about 13 500 years ago, the entire Store Mosse area became part of an enormous ice lake. In the beginning of the land up-lift, the ground slowly tipped over to the south and about 12 000 years ago the lake was dry. The sand from the dried-up lake floor formed huge sand dunes, so called ‘rocknar’.
Later, the climate turned more humid and parts of the area became swamped. Swampy ground lacks oxygen and dead plants do not decompose. Half decayed they turn into peat layers. Eventually the peat layers rise above the waters level in the swamp and that’s what we call mire. In a rainy and cold climate as here, the peat can continue to grow above the waterline. The mire grows highest in the centre and becomes what we call a raised bog. In Store Mosse you find some of the largest raised bogs in Sweden.
Mires and fens
Due to the lack of oxygen there are no nutrients in swampy waters. All living plants on a bog receive their nutrition entirely from rain and snow. This makes the flora on a bog very poor and it may look very desolate. Store Mosse also consists of fens. A fen is similar to a mire but the fen also receives nutrition from ground water. There are rich fens and poor fens, all depending on how much calcareous water it receives. A rich fen is, in contrast to a mire, a place one can enjoy lavish green vegetation.
Bog turned National Park
Parts of Store Mosse have been lacerated by peat harvesting and some areas have been affected by the lowering of water levels in lakes. Despite this Store Mosse is at large an untouched landscape – which makes it unique. Store Mosse National Park was founded 1982 in order to conserve this natural heritage for us today and for generations to come. The aim of the National Park is besides conserving nature also to give out door access to the General Public.
Eagle and moose
During wintertime the eagles that live in the park are fed. Once a week they get served with about 100 kilos of pork. It is a very popular “Eagles Inn”, which is also visited by other predatory birds and a great number of ravens. The best time for eagle spotting is usually in the morning hours, as the eagles prefer an early breakfast. Inside naturum, the Store Mosse visitor centre, there is a TV screen connected to the web. During winter you can keep a good check of the birds. In 2010, 40 eagles where spotted in the park and the numbers are increasing.
The bog and the forest surrounding it are also home to Sweden’s largest mammal – the moose. It can grow over 2 meters tall and weigh as much as 500 kilos! Out trekking you may spot the moose crossing the bog feeding on plants, leaves, twigs, bilberry sprigs and heathers.
There are about 40 km of walking tracks in the national park. They follow pine covered sand dunes (‘rocknar’), sometimes turning into a deciduous old cultivated landscape, and from the centre of the raised bog you may get the impression of a desolate mire in Lapland. Some of the walking tracks are adapted to wheelchairs and push chairs.
Naturum Store Mosse
In the visitors centre, naturum Store Mosse, you find information about the nature in the National Park. Naturum offers various guided tours, exhibitions, barbeque facilities and a warm shelter during cold days.
If you visit the park – please follow the basic principles in the Swedish Right of Public Access: Do not disturb – Do not destroy. Take care of Store Mosse National Park!