Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Ballingstorp Cultural Landscape

Ballingstorp farm and grounds dates back to the 16th century 

A forestal road leads to Ballingstorp.

Ballingstorp is today cared for by Skånes Hembygdsförbund.

Ballingstorp was presented in one of our earlier blogposts. We then did not have the opportunity to follow the path that has been organized through this cultural landscape and therefore want to fill in with pictures of the surrounding lands that have been cultivated since the 16th century. The grounds where leased by farmers that were interested in cultivating them. Oats, barley and rye have yielded crops but later also potato was farmed. Domestic animals were not let in these areas nor in the areas reserved for forage used over the winter months to feed the animals. Ballingstorp was relatively big and had 6-7 seven horses, pigs, cows, sheep and chicken. Special passages made up by stone and wooden fences were formed to let the cattle out in the forest and pastures. Fish, vegetables, honey, fruit and nuts provided for additional nourishment. Also hop for the production of beer has been important. In 1671 the farm had 500 hop poles and still today have some.

The ancient landscape is worth preserving.

The route to follow starts next to the parking area, leads you over a smaller pasture area into the woods. The pictures are taken during two days out of which one was grey with some moisture in the air and the other a sunny afternoon. The path is easy to follow and will guide you through a variable nature over a short distance of 1 km. The fields have been very stony and the agricultural work cumbersome using old techniques (ref: Skånes Hembygdsförbund). 

The cultural landscape around Ballingstorp.

Ballingstorp is situated only 2 km from the main route (19) near Hanaskog in northeastern Skåne but, yet, feels so secluded that we consider it a hidden gem. For us this is an excellent high season picnic place for ourselves and our friends. The below collage show some of the late blossoms that could be found early October. Green colors are enhanced in a nice way on a grey day while the hard daylight on a sunny day can flatten them. It is also mushroom time so the photographer approached some carefully in order not to step into (dry and odorless) cow faeces. 

Colourful vegetation along the path through the landscape of Ballingstorp.

Easy to spot and photograph.

The below picture is showing the arable land north of the walled passage for cattle. The field is partly cleared from stone now piled up separately. Due to fertilizers used in the field wild flowers now thrive here. Cattle stayed the summer months in sparse wood landscape with grazing opportunities.

Tall trees and stone fences occupy the main field.

The below cattle passage can be reached through the gate (top left) and on the other side of it is the more important arable land (Sjöängen) with more fertile land by the lake.

The nature path forms a circle around the dwellings and returns past the gardens along the old cattle passage.

This time I was lucky to find the people who look after the farm at Ballingstorp. The doors where open and I was given the chance to enter the two main buildings. Furniture had partly been removed but otherwise things where as they looked in the 50's when Per Nilsson (1870 - 1957) lived there. Ballingstorp was for the first time mentioned in 1532 in a transaction between Peder Stygge and the abbeys of Bäckaskog and Tommarp. Very soon after that the ownership was transfered to Anna Trolle and since then the farm has seen many new owners and farmers on a lease contract. The buildings form a square and include the dwelling-house (below with the main living area), a lodging to the west and several farm buildings including a cowshed and a barn.

Ballingstorp was inhabited until 1957.

The day was coming to an end and I reminded myself that Mrs. T had been left alone in our own garden to clear up things. And my stomach reminded me of the need for some nourishment having spent all afternoon out walking and crawling for fresh pictures. But time has been well spent and I chose to end with the below nice autumn foliage in transition.

A special thanks to Skånes Hembygdsförbund for allowing me entrance to the farm and for providing the above information. Thank you also for the very nice apple cake and warm coffee. They can be contacted through (Ballingstorp).

The next story? What do you want to have? We will be in Malmö on Friday next.


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