Iglekärrs old-growth forest

Red water lilies in Stora IglekärrIglekärrs old-growth forest, about 70 hectares, is located in Ale municipality, near Skepplanda, about 4 miles north of Gothenburg. The forest is a beautiful mixed forest with a lot of pine, spruce and oak but also many other tree species. Iglekärrs old-growth forest has a high degree of continuity and completely lacks traces of forestry.

A total of 44 species indicating high nature values have been found, of which 15 are red-listed and 28 are included in the Swedish Forest Agency's list of signal species, "useful for locating and distinguishing forests with high nature values". (Here you can download a list of all these species.)

Iglekärr's old-growth forest borders to the east with the Ekliden Nature Reserve (about 80 ha) The almost double extension of a protected area with the preservation of the forest at Iglekärr gives in practice a many times higher biological value. It gives species that move over larger areas an even better chance of finding habitat and being able to spread. A coherent large conservation area including Ekliden and Iglekärr offers a wide variety of habitats and protection for many different plant and animal species.

Plants and fungi indicating high nature values in the forest

On oak trunks in Iglekärr old-growth forest you can see the trap moss , which is one of the most reliable signal species found among mosses. It almost always indicates areas of high nature value and forests with long continuity.

The forest is also home to many other rare and red-listed species, such as the barnacle. The lichen prefers somewhat sparse and patchy forests and has probably benefited from past forest grazing in combination with gentle and successive timber harvesting.

Water path Great revmossa and purpurmylia show premises with high and constant humidity and high natural values.

Small spicules indicate pine forests that normally have high nature values, and in the central part of the forest giant hogweed, damp sponge, drop sponge and bell gentiana have been found .

Flagellate moss signals forest environments with high nature values everywhere. It indicates a biotope with a rich and continuous presence of dead wood in various stages of decomposition.

In the northern and southern slopes there is abundant bluestem, cranesbill moss and others that indicate the presence of greenstone. There is also black fern and fork fern.

There is a lot of rock frullania, blue moss, wavy silk moss and reef moss are common in their own right, but show the pristine conditions and high humidity that are a prerequisite for a wide range of species.

The fox tick indicates natural forest environments with aspen. Iglekärr's old-growth forest has one of the richest aspen stands in Risveden
and large aspen and common aspen have also been found .

The presence of older oaks is mainly in the southern part. The bleak is a good signal species, indicating old oaks and woodland areas of high nature value. There is also a western rustwort.

The black spiny fungus usually indicates older coniferous forests with long-standing tree continuity.

Buzzard chicks on nest

Animals in the forest

Of all the more or less common animal species found in the forest, three species of birds are particularly worth mentioning.

The red-listed bee buzzard has been recorded in Iglekärr old-growth forest as well as in the Ekliden nature reserve. The lesser spotted woodpecker nests in the southern parts of the forest and the nightjar has excellent habitats in the hilly pine forest found in the central parts.

Naturskyddsföreningen i Ale has good information about Iglekärr's old-growth forest on its website.


Igelkärrs old-growth forest is located 2.5 km east of Skepplanda village in Ale municipality. You can get there by both bus and car:

To get from Gothenburg by public transport, take the commuter train to Älvängen. From there take bus 434 towards Skepplanda and get off at Albotorget. From Albotorget you have to walk. The small roads leading up to the forest are private roads and should not be used by cars by visitors to Iglekärrs old-growth forest. If you are coming by car, please park at the parking lot along Kvarnabo road at the northern end of the nature reserve. There is an information board here and a signposted hiking trail starts from here. If you want to visit the southern part and Solliden you can park in suitable places after the gravel road through Sålanda towards Ekliden Nature Reserve.

Click on image for larger map

On foot from Albotorget you can walk through Skepplanda (blue line on the map that can be opened in Eniro's map service at this link http://kartor.eniro.se/m/6LJJ9) and when you get to the highway follow it straight ahead. After a few hundred metres there is a road to the right towards Sålanda, go past it and continue on the road for another 100 metres and then turn right onto a small gravel road. Keep left past the newly built house and continue past more newly built houses until you reach the small 'turning circle'. Then follow the path straight ahead. Just after you have passed a large power line street you are in Iglekärr old-growth forest. The path continues to the lake Stora Iglekärr via a privately owned cottage. A new path is to be laid that goes around the private property, please respect privacy and do not take photos of the cottage.

Welcome_To_IglekarrAt the "bathing place" at Stora Iglekärr, you can see the fantastic tribute bench that was installed during the inauguration of Iglekärr's old-growth forest on 6 August 2016. It was sculpted in just five days from an oak log from the Gothenburg Botanical Garden by one of the world's foremost chainsaw sculptors, Tommy Craggs.

Inside the nature reserve there is a newly constructed trail that crosses the path from the power line street. The trail connects Iglekärr with Ekliden and starts and ends at the parking place located at Iglekärr's northern border with Kvarnabovägen (the road that goes east from Skepplanda). The parking place is where you go by car and has the coordinates 57.989889, 12.256976 and here is a Google maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/svHBXaqdFe42