There are especially many seabirds inwards along the fjords of western Norway. There are not many islets, either, so if the birds want to nest, it is not always easy to find good sites. At Aksnesholmane there is an impressive colony of gulls, and the locality has been protected since 1923.
Down by the fjord on the farm Berge in Tørvikbygd, is Stekkavika – a sheltered eastward facing harbour, protected against the fjord by headlands and rocks, even manifest in the name. Here is also a comprehensive milieu of coastal industry, with boathouses and sea-sheds that belong to the farms Berge, Heradstveit and Halleråker. Belonging to the farm Berge there is also a mill-house, circular saw, workshop for sloop building, and – a little further up into the woods – the old water-powered sash-saw.
Bruosen is one of the few river harbours in the county. As landing place for the churchgoers, this place and the boatshed environment follow a tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages, but the country store of today is much younger.
Ullensvang church, situated beside the vicarage, in idyllic surroundings on the headland just inside Lofthus municipality, is mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1309. At that time the present Gothic stone church must have been new. Judging by the style in the western portal and the eastern chancel windows, the church must have been built around 1300 or just before, probably by builders from Bergen influenced by the English Gothic style.
Lysekloster was the largest agricultural property in the country when it was phased out during the Reformation in 1537. In its prime this cloister encompassed two-thirds of all the farms in Os. The monks introduced and cultivated new plant species and it was probably they who stocked the waters with fish not indigenous to the area. This legacy from the Middle Ages has left a lasting mark.
Bergen folk landed on it, long and well. The Germans took it over, during the Second World War. The birds had been doing it for several thousands of years: HERDLA is the main airport for migrating birds during their autumn migrations.
Fish and guests smell after three days, it is said. The cormorants do not need this long. If you follow your nose, the cormorant is not difficult to find.
The permanently-protected Mosneselva River, with its meltwater from Folgefonna, runs out into Åkra Fjord by the roadless and uninhabited Mosnes. Those who once lived here were forced to surrender to the ravages of Nature. In the autumn of 1962 there was a flood so great that the people were driven from their farms.