RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <set eval="<date part=second>" variable="start_s">

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <set eval="<date part=minute>" variable="start_m">

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <set eval="<date part=hour>" variable="start_t">

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <set eval="<countdown seconds since iso=1997-12-01>" variable="surfer_time">

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="accept_index is 0">
 | <if variable="accept_index is 0">
The ''Allemansret'' (the s.c.nordic FAQ)
nordic flags
The home pages for the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.nordic
RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">

---->

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">

The ''Allemansret''

the General Rights to Public Access of the wilderness

Fi:
Jokamiehen oikeudet
No:
Allemansretten
Sw:
Allemansrätten
The "Everymans's Right" (i.e. the right to walk freely in the nature) is sometimes said to be a Scandinavian specialty. That might be wrong or correct - in any case it's an important part of life taken for granted by the people in Norway, Sweden and Finland. (The situation in Denmark is related at the end of this text.) It's maybe also an explanation why the environment protection has become such an important issue in contemporary Scandinavian politics, despite these countries not at all being more poluted than for instance Germany or Poland.

The "Everyman's Rights" give us a lot of freedom - and at the same time the responsibility for protecting the land and environment also when it is someone else's property.

Fredrik Östman writes:
You may pass on foot through forests and across farms but not fields and not military areas. You may not pass fences unless there is a gate that is not locked. In forests you may pick flowers (except some protected species and locations), berries, mushrooms and fallen branches. You may not pass gardens, at least not where the house can be seen or when there is a fence (even if it is open). You may not interfere with any economic activity exercised by the owner of the land. You may stay one night in a tent in an inconspicuous place (not garden) if you don't leave a single trace. You may not use houses, jetties, sheds etc.

You may not, you may absolutely not, make up fire directly on cliffs or move rocks around, specifically not the rocks that have been placed there by an ancient culture, nor hunt, nor steal eggs. These four latter activities seem to be favourites of our good friends the Germans.

The main rule is that one can walk, ski or cycle everywhere as long as nothing is harmed and nobody disturbed. Then, there are refinements and exceptions to this, of course.

How close to houses can one dare to come? No definite rule exists, but in Sweden it's often said that the privacy area around a dwelling is to be understood as at least 200 meters (in Norway 150 meters). This does of course depend on the landscape and other conditions. An alternative wording of the rule is that if you hear or see other people, then you are too close to them. :-)

The historic background was the great uninhabited forests around the Nordic villages. These weren't anyone's property, but were seen as a common good to which not only the inhabitants in the nearest village had access, but instead also travelers, who had the right to collect what one need for survival en tour through the sparsely populated country. The tradition dates back to Viking time, or longer, including the right to take grass for horses and timber for reparations of carriages, as regulated in medieval laws. (Today the Rights of Public Access are one of few examples of unwritten laws in the Nordic countries, i.e. there is no law about the rights, but instead about the restrictions.)

The rules are not exactly identical in Norway, Sweden and Finland, but in practice the following should apply to all three countries:

Denmark

In Denmark most of the land is in use (and/or owned) by somebody, either a private person or the state (in earlier times this was the king). With regard to the state owned land, everyone is allowed to walk there, collect berries, mushrooms or whatever. But you are not allowed to make camps, light fires, take firewood and so on. With regard to hunting and fishing the right to exploit these resources goes with ownership of the land, and the owner may sell these rights to a third person.

There are special laws regarding the coast and beaches: every piece of land between the low-water mark and the 20 meters upwards from the high-water mark is state owned and open to the public. (the exemption being some nature reserves that are totally closed to the public).
With regard to fishing and hunting the coasts are again special: You don't need to ask the owner (i.e. the state) to fish or hunt there.)

Any piece of drift-wood, stranded whales, beached ships or other kind of flotsam belongs to the crown and it is theft to take such materials. These are normally collected by the "strandfoged" or beach-warden who will auction it away - and the funds raised go to the crown.

In addition, one should add that there are no longer any "natural" nature left in Denmark; all types of forest, moor and so on are a product of human activity. This leads to the paradoxal effect that many types of "wild" nature in Denmark have to be managed heavily in order to preserve them.

In summary: in Denmark you are allowed to walk everywhere on public land, but not to camp there outside the public camping areas. And with regard to the coasts the laws are very similar to the "allemandsret". That is not so surprising since the coasts are the only wild areas left in Denmark.



RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="print is 1">
 | <if variable="print is 1">
- Is the text above really reliable?
- See the discussion in section 1.2.2!
---->
RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">
 | <else>
FAQ-Related texts

© Copyright 1996-2001 by Johan Olofsson.
You are free to quote this page as long as you mention the URL.
The line of flags is modified after a picture at det Åländska skoldatanätet.
This page was last updated March the 3rd in the year of 2001.

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">

RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <if variable="print is 1">
 | <if not="not" variable="print is 1">
RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <insert variable="start_t">
&scn_m0=
RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <insert variable="start_m">
&scn_s0=
RXML parse error: No current scope.
 | <insert variable="start_s">
&scn_y=2021&scn_m=12&scn_d=4&scn_f=/nordic/scn/allemans.html&scn_r=">