Oset Rynningeviken and naturum oset
Team: Landscape: Örebro kommun
Ongoing construction of the naturum: White Arkitekter
This nature-reserve is only three km away from the city center of Örebro and its great location has made it
the city’s outdoor space – all year long. It hasn’t always been like this though…
A major project was carried out in 1878–1888, when the water level of Lake Hjälmaren was lowered by
almost two metres and the people who lived around the lake were given access to large areas of farmland.
But the area of reclaimed land between the city of Örebro and the lake was never really a success. The
land returned poor harvests and was eventually abandoned and became overgrown. For more than a
hundred years, it was the “back yard” of the city, a dumping ground for tonnes of household waste,
excavated materials and other detritus. There was also a large military training ground here, right next to
an oil port and several other industries. It could have continued along this path. But the military era came
to an end. The landfills were closed and the industries moved. All that was left was an incredibly
mismanaged piece of land – and determination to recreate parts of the natural landscape that had
vanished. Today, what was once the large Vena landfill has been transformed into a gently rolling
pastureland. Dense brushwood forests have become shore meadows on which animals graze and the oil
port has become a glittering water park.
The landscape at the westernmost shores of Lake Hjälmaren was restored between 1993 and 2006 and has
regained its tremendous natural value. Just north of the river Svartån lies Rynningeviken, with its enclosed
pasturelands, lakeside woodlands, shallow coves thick with reeds and an outstanding view across Lake
Hjälmaren. Vattenparken, a fascinating water park in the area closest to the river features pools, winding
paths, gently rounded meadow hills and rich, diverse flora. It is also the site of Naturens hus (the House
of Nature), a nature centre offering a café, a nature school and information about nature. The Oset
wetlands with their flourishing bird life are south of Svartån. The foot and cycle paths around the entire
area also work as embankments to control water levels. In the spring, the flooded shore meadows of days
gone by are recreated inside the embankments – and multitudes of breeding birds congregate once again
near the shallow pools. Nature has been given back to the people, right next to the city and
with a recreated connection to the lake. The flora and fauna of the entire plains landscape have been given
a new lease of life and have retaken the shores of Lake Hjälmaren.
The area is part of the EU Natura 2000 network and the global Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The
nature reserve covers an area of 740 hectares and is owned and managed by the Municipality of Örebro.