The right of public access

The right of public access is an old customary law dating back to the Middle Ages that governs the right to pick berries and mushrooms etc. and applies to everyone who uses the Swedish countryside.

Person in the forest with a basket.

Category: Knowledge of nature and the universe

Geographical location: All of Sweden

But it also entails responsibilities such as showing consideration. Those who own the land do not need to provide their consent but they should also not suffer any loss.

It is now part of the Swedish constitution and entails both rights and responsibilities for everyone who spends time outdoors. It also exist in other Nordic countries such as Norway and Finland. In other European countries the public also have a right to roam in the countryside, however without the legal rights and with some restrictions.

The right of public access is common knowledge and a prerequisite for the great interest in outdoor activities there is in Sweden and the other Nordic countries. The tradition is passed on primarily within the family but also in school as well as by various voluntary organisations.