The heath and grass­land of Öster­pla­na is a 600-acre site that was made a natu­re reser­ve in 1984. The reser­ve is loca­ted on the limesto­ne pla­teau of Kin­ne­kul­le, the Midd­le Ordo­vici­an limesto­ne, which is 50 metres thick and cre­a­tes a very spe­ci­al biotope.

The alvar, with its thin cove­ring of soil, com­bi­ned with many years of gra­zing and a mild cli­ma­te, has cre­a­ted a spe­ci­al habi­tat for the plants that grow here. This spe­ci­al type of envi­ron­ment is found only in a hand­ful of sites around the world. In Swe­den, asi­de from Kin­ne­kul­le, it is also found at Fal­byg­den and on Öland and Got­land. In spring, ear­ly pur­p­le orchids grow in lar­ge num­bers on the heath near the church. The plants that grow in the thin soil lay­er are gene­ral­ly small and remain low to the ground, such as Breck­land thy­me and vari­ous spe­ci­es of sto­necrop. You may also find the rare Are­na­ria got­hi­ca, which has tiny white flo­wers and only grows here and on the island of Got­land. The reser­ve also inclu­des some bro­ad­le­af wood­land and marsh.

The pur­po­se of the natu­re reser­ve is to pre­ser­ve this distin­cti­ve habi­tat. The site is pri­ma­rily mana­ged by annu­al gra­zing and clea­ring if neces­sa­ry. The lowest lay­er of the Midd­le Ordo­vici­an limesto­ne, the under­ly­ing red limesto­ne that Öster­pla­na heath and grass­land stand on, forms a distin­ct red limesto­ne cleft that runs all the way around Kin­ne­kul­le. This cleft forms the bounda­ry of the reser­ve to the east, with beau­ti­ful water­falls and steep rocky slopes.

Hit­ta Hit

Öster­pla­na hed och vall is a natu­re reser­ve.