Sweden’s right of public access

Sweden’s right of public access gives everyone wide access to our countryside. However, besides rights, it also involves obligations. These include taking responsibility for flora and fauna as well as respecting land owners and other visitors.

Nature is very important to Swedish people. In Sweden, everyone is entitled to be out in the countryside, even in areas owned by someone else. We call this the right of public access. It is an essential part of Swedish culture. We make use of our right of public access whenever we walk in a forest, paddle a kayak, go climbing or simply sit on a rock to think.

The right of public access also entails exercising care and not disturbing other people or animals. Similarly, we must not damage the countryside or anything owned by another person. We summarise this as “do not disturb, do not destroy”.

The right of public access enables you to:

  • Be out in the countryside regardless of who owns the land. This is the foundation of our right of public access. When we are out in the countryside, we must not disturb or destroy and we must respect “home protection zones”, i.e. the private land in the immediate vicinity of a residence. In protected areas (e.g. nature reserves), there are special regulations to protect nature and heritage.
  • Pick flowers, berries and mushrooms. Provided they are not protected species or in gardens, plantations or fields. However, you must not damage or take home trees or bushes.
  • Light a small fire if you are very careful. Do not light a fire directly on bare rock (it will crack). It is best to light fires where there is a place set aside for this. Throughout certain periods of the summer, lighting fires is often prohibited owing to dryness and the risk of spreading. See what rules currently apply to lighting fires outdoors in the municipality of Halmstad. Certain nature reserves may also have special regulations.
  • Sleep out. You may set up a tent in the great outdoors for the occasional 24-hour period. Remember not to disturb the landowner or damage flora or fauna. In nature reserves, special regulations may apply.
 Friends have a barbecue in the forest in Halmstad

Photo: Joakim Leihed

     Beach riding in Halmstad

    Photo: Ridlycka

    A fire burns in a fireplace by a lake


      • Do not leave any litter in the countryside. This ensures that it is just as nice for the next visitor. Taking your litter home also ensures that it cannot harm or injure flora, fauna and people.
      • Do not hunt, disturb or injure any animals. Do not touch bird eggs, the nests, lairs, etc. in which animals live or the young of any animals.
      • In the great outdoors, do not drive cars or ride motorbikes or mopeds anywhere other than on designated roads. Similarly, do not drive or ride on paths, park tracks or exercise trails.

      Enjoy the nature of Sweden

      Respecting the right of public access means that we can all enjoy Sweden’s fantastic countryside. Read more about our right of public access on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s website External link, opens in new window..

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