The Crown Princess visits Utö

The Crown Princess with Thomas Hjelm, who explained how crayfish are an important part of the wetland ecosystem on Utö.

The Crown Princess with Thomas Hjelm, who explained how crayfish are an important part of the wetland ecosystem on Utö. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

On Tuesday 24 August, The Crown Princess visited Utö where she met representatives from Initiativ Utö and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

The last Thursday in August is Baltic Sea Day. To mark the occasion, The Crown Princess visited Initiativ Utö to find out about the initiative's work and to highlight the importance of protecting the Baltic Sea.

The Crown Princess speaks with Stefan Gullstrand and Jens Olsson about the Baltic Sea on board the boat to Utö.

The Crown Princess speaks with Stefan Gullstrand and Jens Olsson about the Baltic Sea on board the boat to Utö. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

The Crown Princess left the boat on Ålö and was welcomed by Initiativ Utö's initiators Robert Cederlund and Thomas Hjelm.

At Båtshaket, The Crown Princess learnt about Initiativ Utö – its history, aims and goals, and the work it carries out. In addition to Robert and Thomas, Stefan Gullstrand (who represents local industry) and Jens Olsson (a researcher at the Department of Aquatic Resources' Coastal Lab at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, which works in partnership with the county administrative board) also took part in the discussions.

The Crown Princess at Södra Fladen wetland with (from left) Thomas Hjelm (Initiativ Utö), Robert Cederlund (Initiativ Utö), Marshal of the Court Lena Bartholdsson, Stefan Gullstrand (Initiativ Utö) and Jens Olsson (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).

The Crown Princess at Södra Fladen wetland with (from left) Thomas Hjelm (Initiativ Utö), Robert Cederlund (Initiativ Utö), Marshal of the Court Lena Bartholdsson, Stefan Gullstrand (Initiativ Utö) and Jens Olsson (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

After an introductory talk on Ålö, The Crown Princess visited Södra Fladen wetland.

A decision was made in November 2012 to transform the reed area into a living wetland. Work was completed in March 2015, and wetland conservation work was able to begin. A few pike and perch from the Baltic Sea were placed in the wetland. They spawned, and the fish then left via the wetland's fish ladder. The same procedure was repeated the following year. In the third year, the fish born in the wetland made their way into the wetland by themselves.

The visit concluded with a tour of agricultural land set out on the wetland, where local restaurants grow their vegetables.

Initiativ Utö

The Initiativ Utö fundraising initiative was established in 2017–18 to identify, design and operate environmental efforts in Stockholm's archipelago and along the Baltic Sea coast. Based on Utö and Ålö in Stockholm's southern archipelago, Initiativ Utö aims to contribute both locally and nationally towards global and national sustainable development in practice. The focus is on establishing wetlands, starting circular processes and reinstating seabed environments in archipelagos and bays along the Baltic Sea coast.

Baltic Sea Day

Baltic Sea Day was launched in Finland by the John Nurminen Foundation in 2019, and takes place on the last Thursday in August. Baltic Sea Day is arranged each year to celebrate the sea and to raise awareness of its highly varied nature, culture and history.

Find out more about Baltic Sea Day here External link, opens in new window..