25 April 2016
In Sweden, there is a tradition of foraging or gathering of food across any land as a cherished family activity.
The Right of Public Access (‘Allemansräten’) or Outdoor Access Rights as it is now known gives the right to roam the countryside in Sweden without someone saying: “get off my land”. Allemansrätten is a historic and loved part of the Swedish nation, where the boundaries between private and public life usually intertwine and nature, community and peacefulness are integral parts of what it means to be a Swede. In 1990, Allemansrätten was officially added to the Swedish constitution and now anyone can forage for wild foods and flowers (except those that are protected by law), as long as nothing is disturbed or destroyed. The right covers all public parks and forests, and even includes privately-owned land—though it excludes farms and gardens.
The all-access culture isn’t just limited to Sweden. Similar “rights of public access” also exist in other Scandinavian countries- Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Scandinavian countries share similar values and cultures.