Wilderness to you, amusement park to us

Nowhere around here is there a larger wild area with no roads cutting through it than the northern nature reserve of Kindla, which spans more than 900 hectares. Here you will find a small number of hiking trails that gently meander through the 120-year-old forests, but there are large parts of the area you will simply have to discover for yourself with the help of a map and compass. If you come out on the other side with energy to spare and you want to explore even more ancient forests, you can carry on to visit the Murstensdalen Nature reserve.

It might sound strange, but we swedes love nature so much we made laws that grants us access to it. It’s called Allemansrätten (lit. ”the everyman’s right”). Allemansrätten gives a person the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land except private gardens.

“If you meet a bear you should talk calmly, not shout!”

This is the wildest in character and second largest of all the nature reserves in our area. Here a quiet and untouched wild area is revealed with deep ravines, high plateaus with ancient forests, and stretches of bogs, ponds and lakes. Murstensdalen is a roadless place (though not lawless!) that you will often be able to enjoy all to yourself. You can get to it in 55 minutes from the town centre. Try getting to such a wild place from any of Sweden’s other ten biggest cities. Exactly – you can’t.

Meet Jonas Classon

Jonas Classon is one of the top bird photographers in the world. His photos have been praised by The Times and the Natural History Museum in London, and he has been recognised by the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Jonas lives in Kumla, Sweden.

Jonas has been photographing birds since he was a teenager. When he became seriously ill as a child and was hospitalised he met a teacher at the hospital who was also an ornithologist. He introduced Jonas to various areas for bird-watching in Örebro.
“I usually say that I was born a photographer. I’ve seen the world in pictures for as long as I can remember. When I discovered birds it was as if two worlds collided and I had something to focus on while I was ill”, says Jonas.

One place that has been very important to Jonas is Tysslingen in Örebro, especially when the whooper swans arrive in the spring. Kvismaren, Kilsbergen, Oset and Rynningeviken are other popular places for bird enthusiasts in the Örebro area.

After periods of taking photos abroad, Jonas usually returns to the places where it all started.
“I’m developing as a photographer all the time, and coming back and seeing a place with new eyes and experiences can make you look at your surroundings in new ways.”

Jonas has photographed great grey owls for almost 10 years and has learnt all about their lives and behaviour. All the knowledge he has accumulated over the years has culminated in a book about great grey owls.
“Great grey owls are very difficult to see at some points in their lives. Trying to photograph a bird that lives completely in hiding is an incredible challenge,” says Jonas.

A couple of years ago Jonas took his dream picture. He had been following a great grey owl for over a month and on this particular evening there was a full moon – two ingredients that go very well together. After having followed the great grey owl for so long he knew where it would be. At first it was difficult to get both the owl and the moon in the same shot, but Jonas changed his position so that he could wait for the moon and take the picture.
“It was an incredible experience! It was the first time I got goose bumps while taking a photo. It was extremely cool. I took the photo just outside Örebro, proving that you don’t have to go to the other side of the world to experience the wonders of nature.”

In a pilot project in cooperation with Canon, Jonas is giving children with long-term illnesses at the University Hospital in Örebro access to a camera while they are in hospital.
“My goal is to make a difference in the world for someone or something. I was given a second chance and I want to live in a way that not only benefits myself but also others.”

Jonas continues:
“I would like to see this project grow and become established. This is what really motivates me – making a difference in someone’s life. Because I know how life-changing that can be.”

Read more about Jonas at jonasclasson.se

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