Petgärde and Djurstad
Wetlands with rich birdlife
The Petgärde and Djurstad marshes are a preserved part of Öland’s formerly extensive wetlands. Birds such as Montagu’s harrier, western marsh harrier, red-necked grebe, water rail, spotted crake and common snipe breed here.
Areas of wetland harvesting
The Petgärde and Djurstad marshes were used in former times as harvesting meadows but both areas were drained in the early 1900s in order to create more farmland. In recent years, nature conservancy measures have been implemented that aim to restore the natural water level fluctuations. This, along with harvesting and grazing, is important to re-create the areas’ rich birdlife and flora.
Djurstad marsh consists of a sedge mire, a former lake that has been drained together with areas that dry out during the summer. Petgärde marsh consists mainly of great fen-sedge and common reeds, open water, wet pastures and fens with orchids. Species that thrive there include the fragrant orchid and the marsh helleborine. Grass-of-parnassus and bird’s-eye primrose, among others, grow in the wet meadows.
Paradise for birds
Mornings in May are often accompanied by the singing of nightingales and marsh warblers in the willow thickets. Reed warblers and common reed buntings thrive in the reeds and one can also catch sight of Montagu’s harriers and western marsh harriers. The handsome red-necked grebe, with its pig-like screams, is one of the species that is characteristic of the area. Evening excursions can be a great experience as one listens to the voices of common grasshopper warblers, water rails and spotted crakes. At dusk, you can also hear the characteristic vibrating sound made by common snipes.
Size: Petgärde 111 ha (274 acres), Djurstad 87 ha (215 acres)
Year of creation: Petgärde 1978, Djurstad 1980
Purpose: To preserve the areas’ flora and fauna, particularly the wetland areas valuable for bird life. The areas are part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
Petgärde and Djurstad marshes are located on the eastern side of Öland, approximately 17 km NE of Borgholm and about 5 km south of Föra. The nature reserve has a car park and several bird observation towers.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 56.96851 , 16.84872
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (1 MB): Petgärde och Djurstad
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