Life in the archipelago

In the archipelago the sea determines the terms of people’s lives. It limits movement and land area, sometimes stormy and sometimes covered by unpredictable ice. On the mainland people have been able to travel also on road whereas in the archipelago, travelling has depended on boats. But although life in the archipelago was sometimes tough, the connection with nature and the abundant yields of the sea attracted inhabitants even to the outermost islands.

Back in the day fishing was the main source of income and the Baltic herring was the most important catch. Hunting birds and seals provided variation to the fish-based diet. Birds were caught with nets and guns, and eggs and fine feathers were collected from theirs nests. Seals were caught to make warm sealskin shoes and deliciously fatty food. Keeping cows and sheep was common and they grazed on the rocky islands that weren’t suitable for cultivating crops. Instead, grains were acquired by exchanging fish on the herring markets on the mainland.

Nowadays tourism has become an important source of income, since many want to enjoy the magnificent nature. Tourism is seasonal – after a long silent winter a busy summer awaits. By following everyman’s rights, that apply even in the archipelago, we all get a change to enjoy the beautiful landscape and the peaceful nature.

Do you know everyman’s rights? You can find the right answers on the sign.

  1. Fishing is allowed everywhere.
  2. Stones can be picked from the beach and taken as souvenirs.
  3. Trash can be collected from nature.
  4. Edible mushrooms and wild berries can be collected without a permission from the landowner.
  5. Portable stoves can be used even when forest fire warning is in force.
  6. Collecting moss and lichen is allowed.
  7. Swimming is allowed everywhere.
  8. Making a fire is allowed anywhere without the permission of the landowner.
  9. Collecting fallen wood is allowed.
  10. Outside natural reserves and protected areas going ashore is allowed everywhere.
  11. Walking a dog on a leash on someone else’s land is allowed and dog excrement is to be moved somewhere where it doesn’t cause any harm.

On protected areas and on the area of the national park different set of rules apply and protected species must always be left unharmed. Some of the islands around the Archipelago Sea are important nesting islands for birds and landing is prohibited from April to August. You can find the protected areas from the rules of Archipelago Sea national park.

Did you know that Stenskär got its name from the big boulder, that is remnant from the ice age and was once used as sea mark?

Can you find an ash tree?