Lilla horns löväng (Little horn’s wooded meadow)
Lilla Horns löväng is a wooded hay meadow and is one of Öland’s few remaining real meadows. Anyone who has ever visited a flowering hayfield never forgets it!
The meadow is the mother of agriculture
Meadows were the most important type of land in Sweden for two millennia. This is where farmers harvested winter fodder in the form of hay and leaves for cows, sheep and horses. The term “The meadow is the mother of agriculture” is recorded in the medieval provincial laws. Hay harvests in the meadows determined how many cattle a farmer could maintain and the number of cattle determined how much manure could be spread on the fields. Meadows also provided berries, nuts, medicinal plants, wood for fence posts, bast for rope, roof coverings, insect richness (pollinators) and honey. As a result of scything and grazing, meadows became the most species-rich habitats in the country. Today only remnants of these ancient hay meadows remain.
Tending the meadow
In April, when the wood anemone blossoms, cleaning was done and the meadows were tidied by raking up the leaves and twigs. In July, the meadows were scythed. The cut grass and weeds were left to dry before the hay was taken to the barns. When the hay crop had been harvested, cattle were released into the meadow to graze. The trees in the wooded meadow were pruned in August to remove their leaf mass. Leaves and twigs were dried and became food for the cattle.
Richness of species in the meadows
Hay meadows provide one of our most diverse habitats. By cutting and subsequently grazing, nutrients are removed from the meadow, which enables many grasses and weeds that are good retainers to gain a competitive advantage. This produces a wide variety of species. On a single square metre of meadow, there may be 40 to 50 different species of plant.
Greenery and stone piles (odlingsrösen)
Lilla Horns löväng provides a home for meadow plants such as cowslip, eyebright, heath spotted orchid, grass-of-parnassus, quaking grass and viper’s-grass. The old, hollow trees contain plenty of insects and the collared flycatcher thrives here. The meadow also has traces of old stone walls and piles of stones created when clearing the area for cultivation.
Size: 8 ha, (20 acres)
Year of creation: 1981
Purpose: To maintain the richness of species, as well as the nature and cultural features, found in Öland’s wooded meadows by means of hay making, grazing and pollarding. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
Lilla Horns löväng is located at Lilla Horn, along the old highway, just north of Persnäs on northern Öland. The nature reserve is signposted from route 136.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 57.08562 , 16.91471
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (1,2 MB): Lilla Horns Löväng
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