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If you want to be on your own for a long day in a magnificent deciduous forest in demanding terrain, then HOLMESDALSBERGET is the right place. This is a big forested area by Matres Fjord in the southwestly part of Kinnherad. Here, we find one of the largest deciduous forests in Hordaland. The forest stretches over several kilometres.
Both Lure Fjord and Lindåsosane to the inside give good living conditions for rare marine organisms: jellyfish, shellfish and fish. These include animals that migrated in after last the Ice Age, when the sea level was higher. Eventually, as the land rose, some of these populations became isolated.
When the debate about building a pontoon bridge over Salhus Fjord was raging, some were afraid that the bridge would disrupt the ecology of the fjord system inside. The worst predictions did not prove true, but it is easy to see that there was a change: the Puffins have gotten a new food platter after the Nordhordaland bridge was built. Its favourite meal, mussels, thrive on the pontoons that are the foundation for the bridge.
Some decades ago, Veafjord and the currents in toward the bigger rivers were the most likely places to see harbour seals in Hordaland. In the summer flocks lay on the beach and waited for the salmon to trickle in. Sometimes they also followed the fish a little way up the river.
When the Etne water system was protected in 1994, preservation of the cultural landscape in Stordalen Valley was a a main objective. This is a valley with an exceptional abundance of Different types of plants and animals. In the grey alder forest in Stordalen there are more bird species than in most other places, in fact, denser than one tends to find in a tropical rainforest.