Nature reserve near Sölvesborg
Valje Naturreservat is located on the Valje peninsula, on the western edge of Sölvesborg, and is a conservation area with a large stock of ancient oak trees as well as some rare plant and insect species.
The nature reserve covers an area of 92 hectares on the entire peninsula as well as parts of the bay Valjeviken. The region around the former estate Valje Herrgård is important for its cultural history. Valje Naturreservat consists partly of a very old cultivated landscape with open pasture land and a more or less dense woodland with large deciduous trees.
Particularly striking are the many ancient and massive oaks with their impressive thick trunks. In the course of time other species of trees such as elms, ash trees, maple, linden, beech trees, wild cherry and hornbeam have settled in the shelter of these oaks.
The mosaic of larger groups of trees, dense forest and open spaces has created an ideal condition for a species-rich bird population. On the ground flourishing nutrient-like plants.
On some of the old oaks grows the oak bracket, a very rare type of fungus occurring only on oaks. In addition, many different lichens, including highly endangered species, grow on the old trees.
In the mighty crowns of the oaks breed wood pigeons and the numerous holes in the thick trunks provide shelter to tawny owls and other cave-breeding birds as well as bats. Other inhabitants of the tree caves are numerous species of insects, including the very rare hermit beetle.