The establishment of Fjärås Bräcka
Fjärås Bräcka was formed at the inland ice sheet’s edge about 14,500 years ago when the ice remained stable for a certain period of time at sea level. Gravel, sand, and stones were delivered by melting water from the inland ice sheet and were stored when running water reached the sea at the edge of the ice. Afterward, as the land rose, the drift was exposed.
Approximately 11,000 years ago a point was formed in front of the ice rim formation in conjunction with the uplift of the land. At the drift’s western slope, a sand terrace was formed where the sea stood still for a long period of time and where extreme storms dug out a huge cut in the slope.
Approximately 6,000 years ago, Lygnern became a lake in front of the terminal moraine, and the uplift of the land widened the coastal slope.
Today, there are water ponds in the gravel pits at Fjärås Bräcka. The ponds are infiltration ponds for municipal drinking water and the area is a water protection area.
There are residences and stone chamber graves from the Stone Age here. Individual Stone Age tools have been found on the drift that, during antiquity, made for a natural land bridge for people who travelled out to the coast.
The old Förlanda road, which has a lineage from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, travels along the crest of the ridge and was a part of the main transport corridor through the Danish-Norwegian kingdom between Copenhagen and Kristiania, the so-called Kungsleden (King’s trail).
There are remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages, but the most well known is the large Iron Age graveyard of Li, with over 100 raised stones. The area has probably had a firm population since the Bronze Age.
People have previously impacted the landscape through the care of livestock and agriculture. It is believed that Fjärås Bräcka may have been unforested even during the Bronze and Iron Age.
Up to the end of the 1800s, the landscape was small-scale with small farms, backwoods, and deciduous forests.
Nature reserve since 1976
At the end of the 1800s, SJ – the national railroads – formed a gravel pit in the western slope. Pine trees were sown in the moorlands and huge amounts of gravel were crushed, long into the 1900s. The interest in exploiting the huge gravel assets was great, but it simultaneously caused strong protest. Discussions of the future of the drift lasted for several decades, and in 1976, it was decided that the area would become a nature reserve.
Today, the quarry is dismantled and a vast section of the coniferous forest in the reserve has been felled. Work continues to recreate parts of the old moorland landscapes.