A limestone experience
The Dröstorp Nature Reserve welcomes visitors to the topographically most varied parts of the Stora Alvar area of limestone, including many geologically interesting features and a very rich flora and fauna.
Walking from Skarpa Alby along the winding alvar track out to Dröstorp’s deserted village in May when early-purple orchids, western marsh orchids and meadow saxifrage are in bloom and skylarks are warbling over the desolate and beautiful landscape is a singular experience. The landscape is flat to the west of Skarpa Alby, and further west the terrain rises up to a system of limestone cliffs and terraces.
The area close to the Bronze Age mound Tornrör features karst fissures, sink holes, large areas of flat rock and ground with freeze-thaw phenomena. The area is also home to a number of crystal clear springs. The karst fissures occur as a result of chemical weathering and can also form cavities in the limestone bedrock. Sometimes the roofs of these cave in, resulting in a pit in the ground, known as a sink hole or doline. The most famous sink hole in the area is the Priest’s Pit (Prästgropen).
Plants from around the world
The Dröstorp area provides habitats for arctic-alpine species, southern European species, continental-Siberian species and many endemic species, i.e. species that occur only on Öland. Rare vascular plant species in the area include the musk orchid, garden leek (Allium lineare), scorpion senna, tansy ragwort and proliferous pink.
Dröstorp’s deserted village
In the 1700s, Öland’s population increased and even the areas on the alvar began to be used for agricultural purposes. The first two families moved to Dröstorp to work the land in 1756 and around thirty people lived in the area at one point. However, since 1897 the village has been completely deserted.
Tornrör is the largest and most imposing Bronze Age mound in the area. The only rune stone on the alvar, Björnflisan, is located to the west of Skarpa Alby.
Size: 912 ha (2253 acres)
Year of creation: 1998
Purpose: To preserve the unique grazing-based alvar (limestone) landscape with its special flora and fauna, to make cultural remains visible and to give the public the opportunity to experience the area. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
Located in the north-eastern corner of the Stora Alvar. There is parking and information available at Skarpa Alby. The road to Skarpa Alby is located just south of Gårdby. The car park is about 250 metres after the sharp curve in the village street. The Ölandsleden (a cycle path) passes over the alvar between Skarpa Alby and Ekelundavägen.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 56.59318 , 16.60927
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (889 kB): Dröstorp
Download: the entire brochure (in Swedish only) (19 MB): Utflyktsguide Öland
© Lantmäteriverket, Ur Geografiska Sverigedata, översiktskartan Dnr. 106-2004/188”
Source: County Administrative Board, Kalmar