Environmental measures in Lower Dalälven

The nature of the Lower Dalälven is unique in Sweden, and the vast variety of landscape provides the conditions for a particularly rich flora and fauna. This project aimed at preserving and developing the high natural values found at the lower Dalälven, through various measures. The project was first a collaboration between Fortum Markets AB and Upplandsstiftelsen between 2009 and 2011. The project has since continued between 2012 and 2016, and several measures have also been done during 2017.

Dalarna, Sweden

The unique nature of Lower Dalälven

The nature in the lower Dalälven is unique in Sweden. Large open river meadows and bays are varied with streams, old leaves, and mixed forests which are rare in the rest of the country. The wide variety that the landscape exhibits provides the prerequisites for a particularly rich flora and fauna. Regular floods have benefited from different deciduous trees and the appearance of the flood meadows, which is typical for the lower Dalälven.

In no other place is the biological northern border as clear and obvious as here. At the northern border for many animals and plants, there are e.g. plenty of precious deciduous trees like oaks, ashes and linden. Some areas belong to the most valuable that we have in terms of biodiversity. Here there are hundreds of red-listed and threatened animals and plants. The harrow stock, which is one of the country's southernmost, is of high biological value.

Project scope

The project started in 2009 as a cooperation between Fortum and the Uppland Foundation. The aim of the project was to conserve and develop the high nature values in the lower Dalälven through the opening up and clearing of vegetation and prevent meadows from being invaded by fir trees. The project also aimed to recreate naturally leafy forests and preserve the threatened plants and animals that occur in the area.

Implemented actions

  • Clearing of fir from flood meadows and areas rich in leaf trees

  • Clearing of bushes in flood meadows

  • Relieving old oaks in need of a lot of light

  • Recreation of forage and pastures on river meadows

  • Contributing to the Nature Conservation Association's project for the reintroduction of the white-backed woodpecker. Woody debris is created to favor woodpeckers.

  • Burning of forests on the island Upper Tylleropsön, and follow-up through insect inventory in the burned area

  • Biotope enhancements in the Bredforsen stream through the supplying of gravel

60 hectares of meadows have been restored so far, and another 30 hectares were opened at the later stage of the project. In addition, cut fields have proven to be important for mosquito production (the area is unfortunately known for its huge mosquito production). Studies have been conducted within the framework of the "People, Mosquito and Nature" County Project on mosquito survival in cut and non-cut meadows. They have referred to Bredforsen, where the Uppland Foundation made efforts within Fortum's fund project. Bredforsen specifically shows better results in the study, with major differences in mosquito occurrences found between managed and un-managed meadows  (70% fewer mosquitoes).

Cooperating partners and stakeholders

The project first lasted for three years, 2009‒2011. After that the cooperation with the Uppland Foundation continued after 2012. In the latter part of the project the restoration of the overgrown areas continued. Here the aquatic environment in the streams Bredforsen and Tammån received more attention. Results from investigations led to proposals on improved biotopes by supplying gravel and fire wood to support the grayling.