The Pulken visitor site in Kristianstads Vattenrike is a popular crane watching destination. In spring migrating cranes are fed here to prevent damage to newly planted crops. From the birdwatching tower visitors from near and far can enjoy the cranes’ courtship dance. The large number of cranes come in late March and early April depending on the weather.
Feeding cranes at Pulken reduces damage caused to farmland and allows people to watch the cranes dancing at close quarters. Cranes particularly like newly sown corn and wheat. This can result in substantial damage to spring crops.
The Biosphere Office has been working with farmers, the Bird Society of North-East Scania and the County Administrative Board to reduce the damage since 1997. The Crane Group feed the cranes with corn in a separate field at Pulken Outdoor Museum in cases where the arrival of the birds coincides with spring planting undertaken by farmers.
This minimises the damage caused to newly planted arable fields and allows the cranes to feed undisturbed.
The cranes are a great attraction to everyone interested in birds, who can enjoy the cranes from the outdoor museum. Tourists and birdwatchers have helped provide a source of revenue for the tourism industry. The birdwatching tower at Pulken Outdoor Museum has been adapted for wheelchair users, and in 2014, the Biosphere Office created a new exhibition on the cranes and the history of the site.
Kristianstads Vattenrike covers an area some 35 x 35 km in size that includes a variety of natural environments. The River Helge å flows through the landscape into the Baltic Sea, though wetlands and seasonally flooded grasslands, past leafy forests and sandy arable land. These diverse natural habitats are home to a wide range of animals and plants.
In 2005 Kristianstads Vattenrike was awarded biosphere reserve status. Since then it has served as a model for sustainable development under the motto “Benefiting nature and people”. There are some 600 biosphere reserves worldwide. Kristianstads Vattenrike is the oldest of the five biosphere reserves in Sweden.
Kristianstads Vattenrike is an ideal place to observe birds all year round.
As the cranes fly north, ducks and waders take over the seasonally inundated grasslands around Pulken. White-tailed eagles can often be seen around the River Helge å in winter. There are lots of birdwatching towers dotted around Kristianstads Vattenrike. Our top tips include sites such as the Linnérundan Trail, Håslövs ängar, Hercules and Äspet.