Gynge & Möckelmossen
Alvar flora and migrating cranes
Anyone who travels along the classic route between Resmo and Stenåsa will encounter a magnificent limestone alvar landscape. Maybe the Gynge Alvar and the Mysinge Alvar will be the first contact with the Stora Alvar’s barren and unique beauty.
The Gynge Alvar has traditionally been grazed by cattle, sheep and horses. The area has periodically been ungrazed, but grazing has now resumed and shrubs have been removed. It has an abundance of globe daisies, Branched St. Bernard’s lily, alpine catchfly, Illyrian buttercup and silverstars. Gynge Alvar is one of the richest areas of individual orchids on the Stora Alvar. Early-purple orchids and western marsh orchids are the most common but the rare dark-red helleborine can also be found.
The Mysinge Alvar is well-tended by sheep grazing. Large parts of the Stora Alvar were as treeless as this up until the 1960s. The vegetation is dominated by thin soils consisting of weathered gravel, which is known as sheep’s-fescue alvar, but there are also rocky areas and wet meadows. Sheep’s-fescue and red fescue, the latter which is unique to Öland, are abundant, as are spiked speedwell, yellow oxytropis, dropwort and mountain everlasting. The wet meadows provide a home for shrubby cinquefoil and there are junipers in the dry meadows.
Möckelmossen, which is the alvar’s largest lake, is unique because it has never been subjected to draining. It holds water throughout the year but its size varies considerably between autumn rainfall, snowmelt and summer drought. In the autumn, it provides a resting and sleeping place for thousands of common cranes. It also provides a breeding place for species such as black-headed gulls, common ringed plovers, redshanks and Eurasian curlews. In winter, after a few cold nights, the Möckelmossen provides an excellent skating rink. Many visitors marvel at the fact that they can see northern pike swimming under the ice.
Size: 922 ha, (2278 acres)
Year of creation: 1968
Purpose: To maintain the unique grazing-based cultural landscape and the vegetation types that are representative for areas of alvar (limestone pavements), to provide good conditions for both typical and rare plants and animal species, to preserve and improve the visibility of cultural relics, and to facilitate the public’s experience of the natural and cultural assets in the area. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
The area can easily be accessed from the Resmo-Stenåsa road. There is parking, an information point and toilets at Möckelmossen.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 56.52804 , 16.51992
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (519 kB): Gynge & Möckelmossen
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