Classic orchid area
You can really experience the splendour of Öland’s orchids on Vickleby Alvar in May. And the strange Resmo Zone is located a few kilometres out on Vickleby Alvar; this is a water-bearing fracture zone which runs into Resmo spring and which provides a source of water for the whole of Mörbylånga.
The Stora Alvar’s plant world
Vickleby Alvar features plants that are typical of and special to the Stora Alvar. The central and eastern parts are dominated by expansive gravel alvar areas. In the west and around the alvar lakes and adjacent to the Resmo Zone there are well established flowering dry meadows. Most of the plant species of geographical interest exist in this area, such as Illyrian buttercup, hoary rock-rose, globe daisy, silverstar and alpine catchfly. Examples of rare species in the area are garden leek, lesser marshwort, wormwood, tansy ragwort and shrubby violet.
Birds and insects
The wildlife found here is also representative of the Stora Alvar. Characteristic birds in the area include the Eurasian skylark, the European golden plover and the northern wheatear. Montagu’s harriers also forage in the area. Insects found here include the pink-winged grasshopper and the distinctive wetted doll robber beetle, as well as the butterflies Nothris lemniscella, Setina roscida and viper’s bugloss.
The Resmo Zone on Vickleby Alvar was formed by rupturing and collapsing of the bedrock and it contains underground streams and karst features where water has eroded the limestone to form pits and ridges. This provides a habitat for species such as the distinctive Scellus dolichocerus long legged fly and the Chondrina clienta snail.
Vickleby Alvar has traces of old roads, shepherds’ huts, tumuli, foundations and tombs, such as the altar stone with its associated stone ship. In the small cottages on the edge of the alvar life was previously characterised by poverty. The small buildings at Vickleby alvargata are constructed of limestone walls or oak planks. The cottages are typical of malm limestone buildings erected outside the villages.
Size: Stora Vickleby 660 ha (1631 acres), Lilla Vickleby 613 ha (1515 acres)
Years of creation: 1997 and 1999
Purpose: To preserve the unique grazing-based alvar landscape with its special flora and fauna, to make cultural relics visible and to give the public the opportunity to experience the area’s assets. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
Take route 136 southwards on Öland towards Ottenby. Information and a car park is located at Vickleby kyrka (Vickleby church).
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 56.57693 , 16.46122
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (710 kB): Vickleby Alvar
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