Like many during these exceptional times, I’ve resorted to rediscovering what lies on my doorstep – to appreciate those pockets of nature on the city’s edge which still manage to cling on amidst the relentless tide of development.
Over the last few years, I’ve come to identify with one place in particular, just a fifteen-minute walk from where I live on the edge of Stockholm. Home to pine trees more than three hundred years old, Ryssbergen is a small fragment of old-growth forest largely unaffected by modern forestry.
Numerous species connected to such mature forests exist here which cannot in the more ubiquitous plantation forests, which today blanket much of Sweden. Evidence of the nesting holes of black woodpecker are frequent, rare species of beetle are found among the abundance of dead wood, while fungi requiring a substrate of old or decaying trees also find a place to thrive.
Rising sixty metres out of an inlet to the sea, its terrain of steep slopes, rocky heights, and narrow gullies, has spared it from the axe and saw – up until now.
To meet the increasing demand for housing, plans are underway to build apartment blocks and a business complex on the site, which would cover some 20 percent of what is already a very small area. While the remainder is slated to be turned into a nature reserve, many are demanding that the area be protected in its entirety.
Scroll down to see some of my photographs from my many wanderings in the area.
All photos ©Alec Forss