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Battle over the future of Sweden's right to roam

Published torsdag 26 maj 2016 kl 16.15
Expert: It's about money
(7:55 min)
Car companies want to be able to test vehicles on frozen lakes without paying the landowner. Photo: Beatrice Karlsson/Sveriges Radio.
One of the testing grounds in Arjeplog. Photo: Beatrice Karlsson/Sveriges Radio.

A forestry company in the northern area of Arjeplog is tired of car companies using its frozen lakes as test grounds, and the resulting court case signals conflict over the Swedish traditional right of public access to private land.

This part of Sweden is a world centre for winter driving, and the companies say they are entitled, under the law of public access, to use the frozen lakes as they cause no permanent damage.

Radio Sweden spoke to environmental lawyer Margareta Svenning, an expert on the so-called allemansrätt and advisor to the city of Malmö. She says this case is going to have a big effect on Sweden's traditional right to roam.

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