The history of Lake Hornborga is also the history of human beings. More than that, in fact, Lake Hornborga is human beings! Without the hard work and sweat of generations of people, the landscape and the lake would have looked very different.
As you wander through the countryside, you can see traces of these people everywhere: meadows, cattle beats, stone walls and lopped trees.
Nowadays, there are very few meadows in the Swedish countryside. A real meadow is in fact a natural feeding area which has never been drained, fertilised or limed. What is more, a meadow should be mowed late in the summer, when the plants have had time to seed.
Stone wall and lopped trees. Photo: Länsstyrelsen Västra Götalands län
The cattle beats and stone walls also remind us of people's hard work in the past. To drive the cattle between the cow-houses in the village and the grazing land in outlying districts, cattle paths were created and, to keep the animals in the meadows and away from the arable land, stone walls were built. The stone walls that now remain are just a tiny fragment of the walls that were originally built. At the time of the land-parcelling act, in the mid-19th century, there were far more stone walls.
In the past, lopped trees were a common sight in the countryside. Lopping was a way of pruning trees to obtain winter fodder for the animals. There are some recently lopped trees at Lake Hornborga, not least at the Fågeludden parking lot.
Diversity is wealth
The meadows, cattle beats, stone walls and lopped trees create small yet vital environments for a number of specialists in the animal world. The diversity is in fact the basis of wealth in the countryside and hard work is need to create diversity. Without hard work, we will not be able to conserve our heritage from previous generations at Lake Hornborga.