Knisa mosse (Knisa Alvar lake)

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Address: Buss-hjalmars väg 9, 387 73 Löttorp, Sweden
Location: Northern Öland
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One of Öland’s few undrained wetlands

Knisa mosse is one of Öland’s few un-drained wetlands. This valuable “Alvar” lake (shallow calcareous lake) survived a wave of drainage measures implemented in the late 1800s, when new farmland was created to feed a growing population.


Resource since ancient times

Öland’s wetlands have been used by humans since prehistoric times for fishing, hunting, scything and grazing. Several burial sites, as well as building foundations and traces of enclosures, can be seen at Knisa mosse.


The Alvar lake’s nature rescued

In the 1930s, Knisa mosse was acquired by the state and was rescued from drainage. However, after it was placed under a protection order, the Alvar lake started to become overgrown with great fen-sedge and shrubs. This resulted in the areas of open water decreasing and breeding birds such as the horned grebe, the black tern and the garganey disappearing. Many bird and plant species are dependent on well-tended areas and restoration measures were implemented in the 2000s in order to create more open water areas in the Alvar lake by means of scything and to improve the management of the moist soils by means of grazing. The hope is to regain the black tern as a breeding species.


Hiking around the Knisa Alvar lake

There is a 5 km hiking trail around the Alvar lake that offers great nature experiences. Plants such as the musk orchid, the early marsh orchid and the marsh helleborine grow in the shore meadows and the swampy areas. Dragon’s teeth thrives in the shore meadows and burnt orchid is typical of the dry meadows. And if you are lucky you may see a Montagu’s harrier hunting over the fields.



Size: 150 ha, (371 acres)

Year of creation: 1993, extended in 2005.

Purpose: To recreate and develop a diverse, undrained marsh area and to promote its rich flora and fauna. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.



400 m west of Knisa village, approximately 30 km SSW of Löttorp. A car park is located just to the east of the area. The nearest bus stop is on route 136.

GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 57.05070 , 16.84975



Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.

Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (864 kB): Knisa Mosse

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