Organised outdoor recreation

It is the Right of Public Access that enables people to enjoy adventure tourism and other forms of organised outdoor recreation. However, the Right of Public Access is a purely individual right. Clubs and enterprises have no collective Right of Public Access.

The Swedish Environmental Code imposes strict requirements on anyone using the countryside for organised activities. Organisers must have sufficient knowledge of the limitations of the Right of Public Access and must inform all participants regarding what is permitted.

A 1996 ruling by the Swedish Supreme Court indicates how the Right of Public Access is to be interpreted when using a third party's land for tourism purposes. The ruling indicates that the Right of Public Access may be used for commercial purposes and by multiple parties at the same time. However, such use of the Right of Public Access must cease if it harms nature or causes a nuisance to a landowner.

Familiarise yourself with the Right of Public Access

The provisions of the Environmental Code are intended to protect human health and the environment from damage.

Persons arranging organised activities on other people's land have an obligation to:

  • possess the necessary knowledge of the Right of Public Access
  • take adequate safety measures and precautions to prevent damage and nuisance
  • choose an appropriate location in order to minimise the risk of damage and nuisance
  • notify participants about the Right of Public Access and the responsibilities it carries

Consult with the county administrative board

The local municipality or county administrative board must be consulted about any activity that could potentially impact the natural environment. Examples include major events, events held at regular intervals and certain types of facilities for outdoor recreation and environmental tourism. The affected landowners should also be consulted.

If necessary, the county administrative board may require the organiser to take steps to prevent damaging the natural environment. An activity may be prohibited if the county administrative board or the local municipality deems that it could cause excessive damage to nature.

If damage is caused as a result of an event or activity, the organiser or responsible party may be liable to pay compensation.