Cultural heritage site, stones old building.

Less damage to cultural remains in 2021

Nyhet | Statistik - 07 December 2021

According to the Swedish Forest Agency's inventory, the proportion of cultural heritage sites affected during regeneration felling is 27 percent, this is the same as 2019 and the lowest level since the inventory began in 2012. The proportion of cultural heritage sites with more than minor damage is however higher than 2019.

The proportion of cultural heritage sites affected (minor damage, damage or serious damage) during regeneration felling is 27 percent for the whole country. The proportion of damage and serious damage is 16 percent in Norrland and Götaland whereas Svealand is 7 percent.

Regarding changes over time there is a decrease in damage for northern Norrland and Svealand since 2012 and for southern Norrland since 2016. Götaland does not show a change over time.

Soil scarification the most common cause of damage or serious damage

Soil scarification continues to be the most common cause of damage or serious damage in three out of four regions. The exception is southern Norrland were damage caused by wind-felled trees is more common, soil scarification is the second most common cause in southern Norrland.

Culture heritage stumps work well as signal and protection

Where culture stumps are used, we see a lower proportion of cultural remains damaged by regeneration activities. A culture stump is a 1.3-meter-high stump that is used as a marking at the cultural heritage site.

In all parts of the country, the level of damage is lowest where culture stumps are placed correctly, i.e.  outside and around the cultural heritage site. The levels of serious damage in 2021 where culture stumps were placed correctly was between 0-2 percent. The proportion of cultural remains with correctly placed cultural stumps has a large regional variation, from 37 percent in northern Norrland to 5 percent in Götaland.

Where culture stumps have been used in any form, 93% of cultural remains have neither damage nor serious damage.

Half of all surrounding consideration areas are damaged during regeneration felling

More than half, 54 percent, of surrounding consideration areas (protected area around a cultural heritage site) suffer damage or serious damage during regeneration felling. Soil scarification is the single most important cause of damage, with soil scarification causing damage to consideration areas in 35 percent of cultural heritage sites in southern Sweden (Svealand and Götaland)

Planting on cultural heritage sites common in Götaland

Planting has been undertaken on almost one in five cultural heritage sites in Götaland. In other parts of the country, less than one in twenty cultural heritage sites are affected by planting. Planting does not mean that the sites are damaged directly but increases the risk of damage in the future. Planting also reduces the visibility of the remains.


Cultural heritage sites: ancient remains and other cultural heritage sites. In the forest there may be ancient remains such as stone age settlements and tombs, but also other younger cultural heritage sites reflecting human history such as charcoal production sites and building remains.

Degree of damage:
Minor (e.g. light track damage, branches left)
Damage (Obvious damage that can be restored, e.g. deep track damage, light soil scarification)
Serious damage (Irreversible damage that cannot be restored)
Cultural heritage stump: a 1,3-meter-high stump used for marking of the cultural heritage site

Northern Norrland – Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties.
Southern Norrland – all other counties in Norrland

The survey is included in the Official Statistics of Sweden.

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