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Nygårdsparken in the 1920s.

Nygårdsparken in the 1920s . Note the hay- drying rails in the background. (BM)

Nygårdsparken was created in the 1880s, after an initiative from doctors Klaus Kanssen and Joachim Weisner. Rare plants and trees were planted, sculptures were set up, and ponds were dug for ornamental birds and fish. In 1901, a load of 100 golden orfe and 500 carps were sent to Bergen from the Polish city of Berneuchen. Many of the fish died underway, but 54 golden orfe and 296 carp survived and were set free in the newly created lower pond in Nygårdsparken. This import is probably the original source of all the golden orfe stock in Norway, among them, those that in Lake Skårsvatnet in Kvam.

The golden orfe in Nygardsparken died out in the winter of 1926 or 1927. The carp have totally disappeared. After the park became the property of the municipality in 1947, no new carp have been added. But, several exotic species of birds have been introduced, among them several species of swans. As the trees have grown old and high, the park has also become attractive for other naturally occurring bird species. Nygårdsparken has an especially good population of both pigeons and the increasingly unusual Collared Dove. Most notable, nonetheless, is the small but growing flock of Hawfinches, which come to Norway each year to overwinter. The species is expanding in Norway, but Nygårdsparken is the only place in Hordaland where the species is seen more or less regularly.

  • Hawfinch

Hawfinch (Villen Vedeler)

  • Bylav in Nygårdsparken. (Tor Tønsberg)

Bylav ("Urban lichen") grows on some of the trees in Nygårdsparken. The species is only found in cities and densely populated areas because, in contrast to other lichen species, it thrives in places with heavy air pollution (Tor Tønsberg)

  • Gram-Gjesdal, C.O. 1982. Notat om «gullfisken» i Nygårdsparken, dens sannsynlige utplanting i Nygårdsparken og dens vandring til Skårsvannet trolig i 1914.
  • Ferskvannspartierne i Nygaardsparken. 1901. I: BT 20.09.1901:2–3. Falkenberg, F.2004. Fuglene i Byparken. Bergen kommune, informasjonsplakat.