Fences and signs
The fundamental idea of the Right of Public Access is that you may roam the countryside without have to think about land ownership. Landowners are therefore not allowed to erect fences to keep people off land that is subject to the Right of Public Access.
If a cattle fence prevents the public from reaching an important outdoor recreation area, the county administrative board may order a landowner to provide a right of way via a gate or stile. The same applies to ditches – and the county administrative board may order a landowner to provide a footbridge across a ditch that is preventing public access.
You may climb over a fence in order to reach land that is subject to the Right of Public Access. If a fence has been erected for the sole purpose of keeping the general public out, the local municipality or county administrative board may order the landowner to remove it. However, you are not permitted to take the law into your own hands by making a hole in the fence.
No private ‘keep out’ signs
Landowners occasionally attempt to keep the public off their land by erecting signs that say: Privat mark ("Private land") or Ej obehöriga ("No trespassing"). Signs like this that attempt to exclude the public from accessing outdoor recreation areas may only be erected with the permission of the local municipality.
The same applies to signs purporting to prohibit walking, cycling and horse riding on private roads and tracks.
There are exceptions
Landowners may erect signs to exclude visitors from areas where it is obvious that no Right of Public Access applies. No permission is required for this. The areas in question are mainly those that are protected under the provisions of the Swedish Penal Code relating to the grounds of houses, cultivated land and ground which is particularly susceptible to damage.
Signs that warn of genuine dangers are also permitted, such as a sign saying Varning för tjuren ("Beware of the bull") on the fence of a field containing a bull. In exceptional cases, signs to restrict non-vehicular traffic may be erected on a private road or track.
Who is responsible for removing illegal signs?
If you come across an illegal sign you are not permitted to remove it yourself. It is the responsibility of the local municipality to ask landowners to remove illegal signs – and it may order them to do so under penalty of a fine.