Good Practice Database - Country - SE - Urnatur
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Urnatur

Practice on:

Eco lodge/Wood Hermitage & Design

Practical details:
NUTS 1: SE1Östra Sverige
NUTS 2: SE12 Östra Mellansverige
Start date: 01.01.2007
Type of initiative:  private
Description of the practice:

A small scale eco lodge, which are certified as high quality and responsible eco-tourism with no or positive environmental impact. The enterprise have also very positive impact on the biological, visual and cultural values in the valuable natural area. The enterprise is managing the cultural landscape in a traditional way, with grazing, moving and pollarding, and thereby also preserving the biological and cultural values for the future.


The ecolodge is located in a valuable natural area. The management of the pastures and meadows and the pollarding of trees are helping to fulfil the national environmental objectives "A varied agricultural landscape" and "A rich diversity of plant and animal life".(http://www.miljomal.nu/Environmental-Objectives-Portal/) The Rural Development Programme for Östergötland promotes economically, ecologically and socially sustainable development in rural areas. One contribution is to support local businesses by coaching and grants for new businesses and businesses with less then 10 employees. Another relevant policy is the Regional Development Plan for the region of Östergötland including the action programme for Culture and the action programme for Enterprises.

Urnatur is a small scale eco lodge, certified by the Swedish eco-tourism brand Natures Best as high quality and responsible eco-tourism. Urnatur works with tourism in the concept of a wood hermitage having conferences, events and offering retreat and a calm place in beautiful nature. Urnatur is also working with farming - i.e grazing, mowing and pollarding trees in a traditional way. Nature conservation is another important work. They are also developing the design brand Urnatur, dealing with hand printed cloth, etc. They offer a combination of calmness and beautiful surroundings to their guests. Guests can explore some of the country’s most striking landscapes, like lakeside cliffs and fields of wildflowers, before retreating to their wood-fired saunas and solar-powered showers. It is a off-the-grid forest hermitage, with a luxury-is-simplicity message. Urnatur have had small investment grants when the business was set-up but is now run on full commercial basis with no public support.

Evidence of success
Biological/biodiversity values:

The pastures and meadows which are managed by Håkan and Ulrika have large biodiversity values connected to the flora and insects dependent on long term grazing or mowing of unfertilized semi-natural grassland. Old pollarded trees with high biodiversity are present. Lake Visjön have some biodiversity values, for example suitable for Osprey.

Visual impact and recreational value:

Lake Visjön is a beautiful lake and the connection between the small scale agricultural landscape, the lake and the small scale managed forest makes the area a very beautiful place.

Cultural heritage:

The small scale agricultural landscape is a biological cultural heritage with links many hundred years back in time. The fences are built in a traditional way. The pollarded trees and the tradition to pollard trees have been present for ages. The design is built on the nordic tradition and developing the design culture.

Environmental impact:

The ecolodge is run with very low impact on the environment and a member of the Swedish Eco-tourism society and certified with their brand Naturens Bästa/Natures Best. There is no fossil fuel heating or electricity in the huts; wood is heating the huts and the saunas and solar power is heating the showers. The management of the natural grasslands and repollarding of pollarded trees are very positive for the biodiversity values. Platforms for Osprey breeding are constructed in some tree tops. The forest is managed in a modest way without clear felling.

Economic viability:

High. The small scale enterprise has two employees with a turnover of 100 000 Euro and with 1500 visitors per year.

Transferability:
Yes, the practise is easily transferable to many valuable natural areas in Europe if the right entrepreneur is at hand.

Contact details:
Name: Håkan Strotz & Ulrika Krynitz
Organisation: Urnatur
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.urnatur.se


Completed on: 15.07.2011
Date added: 4.9.2011  Hits: 182
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The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.