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The wet meadows of Vomb (Vombs ängar) are situated in the Skåne region in south Sweden, in the lower valley of river Klingavälsån. The river's length is about 37 km long and has a catchment area of 240 km2.
Vombsänkan valley is relatively flat with extensive sand and gravel deposits. On older maps, a lot of alluvial forest can be seen along the river, which was cleared during the 1800s when the winding Klingavälsån was straighted and an irrigation system was built to boost hay production.
The regular flooding of meadows attracted large number of waterbirds, e.g. White stork Ciconia ciconia, Black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa, Ruff Philomachus pugnax, Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii and Corncrake Crex crex were found breeding in the area and during migration large numbers of geese, ducks, waders and raptors used the meadows as a staging locality. In 1923 Vombs ängar was protected by law in order to the preserve the rich birdlife. During the years 1938-43 however, much of the biodiversity was lost due to draining of the marshes and even more so in the 1960's with the widespread use of chemicals in agriculture.
The project to also channel and drain the upper valley of river Klingavälsån,was finally stopped in the Swedish supreme court in 1942, but it was not until 1968 that Vombs ängar and the remaining, more undisturbed wetlands were officially protected as the Klingavälsån nature reserve. The reserve is now one of the largest in Skåne, covering more than 2 175 hectares. It has since been designated both as a Ramsar-site and a NATURA 2000 bird protection area.
Since the 1980's, the government has purchased Vombs ängar and some other important parts of the reserve. Meanwhile discussions have been ongoing on how to restore the meadows and thereby regain some of the rich birdlife.
Short film about the river Klingavälsån directed by Johan Hammar (Ekologruppen) in 2013.
Between 1998 and 2003, Vombs meadows have been restored both in terms of flood irrigation systems and the natural meandering river bed. A dam is located above the meadows and makes it possible to bring water into channels that distribute the it over the meadows. A dike asn added to the old meandering channel and water flow was increased to allow for periodic flooding. The second phase is currently being implemented to restore the lower part before the Klingavälsån reaches Kävlingeån.
Klingavälsån newsletters for download (Swedish language)